Creative solutions from a local cleaning company provide peace of mind to other businesses

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 5:54 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - On Monday morning, Jeff Galliher stands on the second floor of Body Renew’s South Anchorage location. He’s holding a nozzle attachment that leads to a large square container. The gym’s owner, Brian Horschel makes a joke that it looks like something out of “Ghostbusters.”

Galliher is not in the business of busting ghosts, he is after germs, bacteria and viruses. The nozzle is part of a complex system that blows a solution of low-concentration, ionized hydrogen peroxide through an arc of electricity. The result is a light mist that makes for a powerful disinfectant.

“One of the advantages of our technology is that it’s FDA, EPA and Omri — which is organic — certified,” Galliher told Alaska’s News Source. “We were able to go into the back end of kitchens and treat those safely, lots of restaurants, daycares are big for us, small businesses, and office buildings ... Where we are able to go in and treat the electronics there safely.”

Galliher does a quick demo, misting several exercise machines and the lens of the camera he’s being taped on. He says the solution and system are not as harsh as most other disinfectants, thanks to the low levels of hydrogen peroxide involved — but that does not necessarily mean the other stuff is more effective.

“What most people know about disinfectants is when you were ten years old and mom said: ‘We need to bleach the house; everybody out,’” he said.

Most household cleaners have a clearly-listed dwell time right on their label. That’s the amount of time that a disinfectant needs to sit on a surface before being wiped down, to work properly. Galliher says the fact that most people don’t use these products properly makes this hi-tech approach all the more utilitarian.

He claims that once their business treats a building where an active COVID-19 case has been confirmed, the virus will be rendered completely inactive within an hour.

This system, called “SteraMist” uses a 7.8% hydrogen peroxide solution.

“When you start to have regular disinfectant through your business or church or school, it’s going to be corrosive. Those 25 to 35% hydrogen peroxide technologies are going to erode what you have.”

According to Horschel, Body Renew has already invested thousands in its own electrostatic sprayers and air scrubbers, but the added precaution of occasionally having their facilities misted gives him more peace of mind about operating during the pandemic.

“It is absolutely worth every penny to have the peace of mind to know that we’re doing right by the community, our customers and our employees is a big deal,” Horschel said.

To date, his gyms have not been identified in any of the contract tracing investigations that have occurred. In his opinion, the extra costs are nothing compared to the possibility of having to close Body Renew’s doors again.

“If it happens to one of us, you’re looking at all of us being shut down,” he said.

Copyright 2020 KTUU. All rights reserved.

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