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Seattle-area lighting manufacturer forms new business to build COVID-zapping UV products

Safeology’s air air purifier (left) in use inside a classroom at Cedar Park Christian Faculty within the Seattle space. (Safeology Photograph / Cedar Park Christian Faculty)

A Seattle-area lighting producer has entered the market with a line of UV lighting merchandise that it says can kill viruses and hold folks protected — simply as faculties and companies put together to welcome college students and employees in a post-pandemic world.

“We’re quoting a variety of industrial alternatives,” stated Jim Mischel, CEO of Safeology.

Everett, Wash.-based Safeology spun out of Electric Mirror, which manufactures luxurious lighted mirrors and drugs cupboards for the hospitality business. 90% of the inns in Las Vegas have put in Electrical Mirrors merchandise, stated Teresa Wenta, the corporate’s world govt director of selling.

The corporate’s website describes how in January 2020, as the primary U.S. COVID instances had been being identified in Everett, Jim Mischel began interested by methods to guard his new child daughter and the group from getting sick.

About the identical time, his brother, Aaron — an govt vice chairman of gross sales for the corporate — was touring on enterprise and seeing how COVID was beginning to unfold. When he returned to Everett, “my brother marched into my workplace and stated ‘You gotta do that,’” Jim Mischell recalled. In March 2020, they shaped Safeology as a individually branded division of Electrical Mirrors.

The corporate’s background within the lighting enterprise made it logical for Safeology to make use of UV-C lighting to battle viruses.

“It was a reasonably simple transition,” Aaron Mischel stated. “It’s only a lighting product.”

Safeology’s UV-C lights in an workplace setting. (Safeology Photograph)

UV-C lighting has been used for many years to cut back the unfold of assorted microbes, notably in medical settings. Testing has proven that it destroys the outer protein layer of human coronaviruses, which renders them inactive.

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One take a look at discovered it to be more than 99% effective in particularly stopping the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. Airways already are using UV-C lighting devices to disinfect passenger cabins between flights, with Honeywell and Boeing among the many producers promoting merchandise into that market.

Nevertheless, UV-C mild additionally might be dangerous to people, inflicting extreme flash sunburns and generally eye injury. Not all UV-C merchandise available on the market are protected, Jim Mischel stated.

“There are a variety of gimmicks on the market,” he stated, “or merchandise which might be actually harmful for folks.”

One in every of Safeology’s first steps was to type a scientific advisory team, which incorporates Dr. George Diaz, who identified and handled the primary recognized COVID affected person within the U.S. The specialists helped them work out how lengthy the SARS-CoV-2 virus must be uncovered to UV-C mild to be efficient.

“We knew the know-how,” Aaron Mischel stated. “Nevertheless it’s good to have the true science behind the know-how.”

Safeology has pivoted with its product choices as extra has change into recognized in regards to the virus.

Initially, the corporate provided a UV-C tower that may very well be utilized in an empty room to sterilize it. That was as a result of it was thought the first manner the virus unfold was on surfaces.

As scientific understanding superior, and it grew to become clear that COVID was an airborne virus, the corporate developed a transportable air purification system that sucks room air right into a chamber the place it’s blasted by UV-C mild, then filtered by each HEPA and carbon filters earlier than the air is returned to the room.

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This not solely removes COVID from the room, however another virus, micro organism or allergen, Aaron Mischel stated. It is also quiet sufficient to run whereas college students or workplace employees are within the room.

The transportable filtration system might be managed by a smartphone app. “It’s the primary mission I do know of wherever the place industrial cell air purification has been mixed with IoT (Web of Issues) infrastructure,” Jim Mischel stated.

The corporate’s most up-to-date product is an upper-room system that attaches to the ceiling and sends beams of UV-C mild parallel to the ground, making a virus-free zone above the heads of the folks within the room. As air circulates within the room, the sunshine disinfects it.

“It doesn’t matter what seasonal virus comes, you could possibly be at work whereas your mild overhead is cleansing the air,” Aaron Mischel stated.

The Mischels say they’ve had “an incredible preliminary begin” with orders for his or her merchandise, however are “having to essentially educate folks” on how the know-how works.

At the same time as extra Individuals get vaccinated, there appears to be demand for this type of a product, Jim Mischel stated. “Persons are afraid, and the vaccine’s not foolproof.”