Iraq Vets Develop Non-Toxic Germ-Killing Surface Treatment

It’s cold and flu season. Every time someone near you sneezes or coughs, I have to resist the urge to cover my nose and mouth. Getting sick is the worst, and many of us go to great lengths to keep our bodies and environments free of germs. Coventional wisdom suggests lots of hand washing and cleaning of surfaces in highly trafficked areas, but you must be persistent: common disinfectants only keep a surface sanitized for 30 seconds to 1 minute after application.

While serving in the Iraq war, Nate Richardson and David Parker inspired to create a technology that would protect soldiers from the germs and toxins they often encounter during deployment. Rather than using harsh chemicals, like bleach and ammonia, to temporarily sanitize surfaces, the duo envisioned a way to treat surfaces so that they would repel germs and bacteria 24/7. Called Monofoil, this antimicrobial additive has been shown to permanently inhibit the growth of microbes which can cause sickness, stains, odors or declination of products without toxic ingredients.

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Image via mcfarlandmo/Flickr

According to Richardson and Parker, the active ingredient of the MonoFoil Antimicrobial is an organo-functional silane technology. The technology is designed to physically disrupt or “disembowel” the target organism’s cell membrane on contact. When applied the product molecularly bonds to a surface, thus making the entire material itself antimicrobial.

Unlike most cleaners on the market, Monofoil kills and repels germs without bleach, alcohol or ammonia. The toxin-free product is also devoid of smell and has been approved by the EPA. The technology has already been effective in curbing illness and infection rates on campuses around the country, including the athletic facilities of Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and Ball State University.

Monofoil is available as a spray, convenient surface wipes, or laundry detergent and has been shown to be effective against virtually all problem microbes including bacteria, fungi and algae.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog