New ways to protect city workers and customers from COVID-19 were presented to the Nevis City Council by Chad Griffin at Monday’s meeting.

Griffin said the company he represents, Pure Mist, is an indoor environment solutions company based out of St. Cloud but is in the process of relocating to Perham.

“We protect spaces and people with our technology and also their profits by helping businesses keep their doors open,” he said. He listed the Zorbaz franchise, manufacturing facilities, dental and chiropractic offices and child care centers among their clients.

Mayor-elect Jeanne Thompson explained that the building that houses the municipal liquor store is old with poor air circulation.

Griffin outlined three options for the city to help with air quality and enhancing protection against COVID-19.

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Microscopic protection against COVID-19

The first component uses electrostatic technology and an antimicrobial spray.

“The Global Virus Network, a leading research and testing source, has already tested our antimicrobial product against SARS-CoV2, and not only is it effective against it in real time but they’ve shown that a surface that is coated with this antimicrobial solution is also up to 98.7 percent effective 90 days later for anything that touches that surface,” Griffin said.

“This solution bonds with any surface such as chairs, keyboards, door knobs,” he said. “At a microscopic level the solution goes on clear. You can’t see it, but when it bonds with the surface at a microscopic level it forms a layer of invisible spikes. Envision a balloon falling on top of a cactus. This provides from any microbes that land on the surface by puncturing the membrane and eliminating that pathogen or contaminant. The remains of that microbe are rendered harmless and wiped away with the disinfecting and cleaning products being used.”

He said the biggest benefit is that it is a green technology that makes surfaces safer and sends a message to customers that the business is offering extra protection. “It’s extremely effective,” he said. “Virtually every NHL locker room, major league baseball locker rooms and NFL locker rooms are using this technology.”

Griffin said typical disinfecting and cleaning procedures only work on the areas being targeted. “As the charge is coming out of this machine, there’s a charge on each of the mist droplets and about 80 to 85 percent of your environment is treated. It gets into cracks and crevices we can’t get to with traditional cleaning, like underneath tables where people put their hands, underneath the bar.”

The cost of this component is $1,350 and it would become city property.

NASA technology

The second component is an air purification system developed by NASA. The machine pulls indoor air through a honeycomb matrix using a photo catalytic oxidation process.

“All (water) molecules that come in go through the oxidizer, and it adds (an oxygen atom) onto the molecule so it becomes … hydrogen peroxide, a very effective disinfectant that is very healthy as well. It mimics what we see in the outdoor atmosphere with rays of sun. This machine repurposes all of the indoor air and uses it to attack contaminants on surfaces, whether it’s dust, pollen, allergens, viruses, bacteria or mold fungus. It can treat and turn over air in less than 90 minutes in 2,000 square feet. Then it just keeps saturating and scrubbing the air. It’s the only device in the world that has been FDA tested and approved specifically against SARS-CoV2. It can kill it in the air and on surfaces. Once the atmosphere is saturated, it provides a real time kill of whatever is on somebody’s hand or comes out of someone’s mouth. It will be eliminated instantly.

The cost of this machine, which can treat up to 3,000 square feet, is $1,350.

Using both methods together

Griffin said some businesses have opted to use the machine to purify the air and also have quarterly antimicrobial spray treatments done by the company at a cost of 10 cents per square foot, with a minimum charge of $250 on an annual contract that is renewable. For the muni, the cost estimate per visit is $250-$300.

Special meeting

Council member Rich Johnson said he’d like to see one of their contracts. “It seems like this has real potential as a solution,” he said. “We’ll also take a look at the research. I think $1,350 is a reasonable amount. I like that idea a lot.”

The council will review research on these options in hopes of making a decision at their special meeting to be held at city hall and via Zoom at 6 p.m. Friday. Canvassing the election is also on the agenda.