EPA Says The Disinfecting Spray American Airlines Has Been Using Doesn’t Work

Last summer American Airlines implemented an elegant solution for disinfecting planes. The chemical SurfaceWise2 was approved in Texas and was touted as killing viruses on surfaces for two weeks. There’d be no reason to spray planes as often during the pandemic.

The original SurfaceWise has been widely used across Texas hospitals as an anti-bacterial. It was also pre-registered with the EPA as a pesticide. The coating was re-worked and promoted to inactivate 90% of viruses within 10 minutes, and nearly all within an hour.

While we’ve since learned that most Covid-19 transmission is via aerosols rather than surfaces, so cleaning regiments are often derided as theater, this matters for common cold and flu as well.

However American Airlines has to stop using the chemical because it’s had its approval pulled by the EPA over concerns it doesn’t actually work.

Allied BioScience has been told to immediately stop selling and distributing its SurfaceWise2 cleaning spray because of “scientific concerns regarding product performance” in real-world conditions.

“EPA laboratory testing indicates the product’s performance is less reliable under real-world conditions, particularly when it is exposed to moisture or abrasion,” the agency said on Thursday. “Based on all the available efficacy data for SurfaceWise2, EPA does not support its continued emergency use.”

American says it will “continue to disinfect and deep clean its planes every night using an EPA-approved cleaning solution.” However since the spray American has been using every week to protect us from germs hasn’t actually been working, maybe they should consider lifting their ban on wearing ‘too much’ personal protective equipment?

Body Pod in Delta First Class, Credit: Under The Weather

Between HEPA air filtration and downward airflow, aircraft cabins are one of the safer indoor congregant settings (at least while the engines or APU are running to take advantage of these features). And passengers can still bring 12 ounces of hand sanitizer through TSA checkpoints. But airline cleaning regiments remain important Covid 19 aside. Let’s keep flu suppressed like we’ve done during the pandemic!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. It took them just little over an year to know this.

    Imagine when we come to know most masks that people use don’t work either. When will that be in 2 years?

  2. According to the blog Paddle your own Canoe, American Airlines said, “We also provide customers with disinfecting wipes on all American flights and continue our strict adherence to the U.S. federal mask mandate.”

    This week, on my three American Airlines flights, only the departure from Detroit handed out disinfecting wipes at the 1L door.

    But wait, there is good news. The SurfaceWise2 pesticide did appear to work as there were no flies or fleas evident on all my American Airlines flights. Fortunately, flyswatters are permitted in your carry-on passenger baggage.

    Listed below is an excerpt from the U.S. EPA press release regarding the SurfaceWise2 pesticide.

    WASHINGTON (July 8, 2021) —The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a Stop Sale, Use or Removal Order (SSURO) to Allied BioScience for their product SurfaceWise2. SurfaceWise2, a residual antimicrobial surface coating, was previously authorized for emergency use in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas to help address the COVID-19 pandemic. EPA investigations found the company was marketing, selling, and distributing SurfaceWise2 in ways that were inconsistent with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA’s regulations, and the terms and conditions of the emergency exemption authorizations. Specific use sites included American Airlines aircraft and airport facilities and two orthopedic facilities in Texas.

    As a result, EPA issued a SSURO that requires Allied BioScience, the product manufacturer, to immediately stop selling and distributing SurfaceWise2. The SSURO will remain in effect unless revoked, terminated, suspended or modified in writing by EPA.

    “Pesticides can cause serious harm to human health and the environment, which is why EPA requires their registration before being distributed for use,” said Larry Starfield, EPA acting assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “EPA is committed to holding companies accountable for not adhering to federal environmental laws.”

    Additionally, EPA is revoking SurfaceWise2 emergency exemptions for Arkansas and Texas due to the company misconduct described above and scientific concerns regarding product performance.

    Since January, new data have become available, leading EPA to comprehensively review new and existing information. EPA laboratory testing indicates the product’s performance is less reliable under real-world conditions, particularly when it is exposed to moisture or abrasion. Therefore, based on all the available efficacy data for SurfaceWise2, EPA does not support its continued emergency use.

  3. Between security theater and covid theater, traveling is a non-stop run of absurdity punctuated by the occasional credit card pitch.

  4. Over-use of disinfectant weakens the immune system because it doesn’t get as many chances to “learn”. Diseases that aren’t as serious, like the common cold, might be more prudent to “live and let live”

  5. @P Ness, I agree and that is why many hand soaps which were previously anti-bacterial are no longer anti-bacterial.

  6. Wow..No kidding it doesn’t work. Hope it’s not the same for these poisonous vaccines they are pushing.

  7. Hahahahaha!!! I knew it, I knew it! Piece of shit of a con airline!!

  8. Virus theatre. CDC said months ago that all this silly wiping and cleaning is useless. Let’s end the mask nonsense too. As long as the snowflakes feel safe though….that’s all that’s important, right?

  9. @James, Who are the snowflakes in this scenario? The people who don’t want to get themselves and their families sick, or the ones that constantly whine about wearing piece of paper over their nose? Is washing your hands after taking a crap theater too?

  10. Only 0.1 % of people who are vaccinated get Covid, die or end up in if I, the balance of the 99% the end up dead,very sick or in icu are not vaccinated. Grow up, get ur vaccine, millions around the world are vaccinated, inbuilt a handful have gotten sick or shied. The vaccines are working. Stop touring your b’s already. As soon as you get sick you beg for help and change ur tune. We need everyone to get their vaccine so we can stop tHe virus from duplicating and replicating into worse variants. Masks are only 40% successful at hindering the virus, every little bit of help is a plus, grow up, wear ur dann mask.your all ignorant for making this situation worse, it doesn’t have to. Like this.

  11. Masks are simple and effective. easily implemented too. Hepa filters and downward air flows are magical thinking, and are only even barely worth considering in comparison to indoor superspreader events. Better than that, well maybe.

    Nice to see the texas spray on goo, or corona guard spray de-bunked. Now if only we could avoid the next “Texas variant”. High risk of one spinning off the delta variant there durning fall and winter months. Its almost inevitable. Could call it the lone star variant for the maskless, unvaccinated, virus variant spreaders.

  12. Just like hotels, planes aren’t getting cleaned anymore. I doubt they actually really were at any point. As the CEO of Marriott stated, it’s really theatre.

  13. Goodness, bunch of worked up antimaskers in here. Leave it to @garyneff to not mention the reason you are not allowed to wear giant pods, etc, is because it hinders safety protocol and could effect an emergency evacuation. Keep wearing your masks, keep your germs to yourselves.

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