Killing viruses with Wela Group’s new AVAST™ system

killing viruses

The AVAST™ unit has been specifically developed to aid in killing viruses and infection outbreaks across multiple industries.

In response to the ever-increasing demand for products aimed at killing viruses, sterilising against bacteria, moulds, and spores in a variety of services, locations and industrial environments, Wela Group LLC has designed and produced the Anti-Viral Aerosolized Sterilization Technology unit (AVAST™). The goal of this New York based technology development company is to provide a small, portable, cost-effective system to help a multitude of industries in killing harmful viruses. Initial developments began whilst exploring different technologies that could help combat virus outbreaks and respond to public health concerns within the cruise industry.

“In September 2019 we were exploring different technologies to destroy norovirus on ships, particularly those in the cruise line industries,” Wela Group CEO Barbara Dutton-Weingarten said. “We looked into aerosolised H2O2 and UVC light, as well as other technologies. Our main criteria were that it was to be something non-toxic, food-safe, and leaving no residue. It needed to be portable, simple to operate with no need for additional staff.”

Barbara Dutton Weingarten

A new weapon for killing viruses

When the cruise ship and holiday industries paused during the rise of the coronavirus pandemic, Wela Group responded after it became clear early on, that their technology developed for the AVAST unit could be utilised to aid the response to COVID-19. Likewise, the technology could be applied across a wide variety of industries and services, not just the cruise ships as was within their initial plans.

Utilising our research and technology, AVAST showed it was capable of destroying coronavirus types such as SARS-CoV-2 – which causes COVID-19 – as well as different virus bases. Likewise, it proved effective against over 100 bacterial types, including E. coli, H1N1, SARS, Ebola, and over 30 moulds and spores, including black mould and anthrax. It was extremely important for us to design a unit that was not only small and portable but simplistic in its operation and also extremely cost-effective. Essentially, we wanted to develop a system with a wide application for killing germs that cause many different types of illnesses.

killing viruses

Wela Group achieved this by utilising hydrogen peroxide, a well-established, off-the-shelf antimicrobial, to decontaminate the required area. While it is highly effective, it is also generally considered safe for humans and the environment when used in small doses. AVAST combines aerosolised hydrogen peroxide and ozone in a dry mist for complete sterilisation of any enclosed environment leaving surfaces dry to the touch directly after a complete application at room temperature. It is food-safe, non-toxic and leaves no residue. It dissipates leaving no active chemical traces, only water and oxygen.

“Our solution was a three-pronged approach to sterilisation”, said Eric Holohan, Chief Technology Officer. “AVAST uses well-established, EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) registered antimicrobials: off-the-shelf three percent to 10 percent hydrogen peroxide and ozone, which the unit produces itself.

“It has an ultrasonic dry mist generator to micronise the antimicrobials while the incoming air to the device is also treated via an immobilised silver filter, which is bioactive. It is food safe and leaves no residue. Third-party lab tests have demonstrated a greater than 99.98% destruction of the coronavirus, leaving no viable virus on treated areas.”

Suitable for a variety of sectors

Some of Wela Group’s key market areas for the AVAST unit are schools, hospitality and food service/catering industries, as well as transportation such as trains and buses. It can also be used in a wide variety of enclosed spaces including Doctor’s surgeries and waiting rooms, gyms, places of worship, indoor sports facilities, entertainment venues and conference rooms among many others.

Many industries and particular environments that will benefit from the AVAST system are those open to a wide variety of infectious opportunities and cater to large groups in more confined spaces.

One key area identified was the sanitisation of cargo, which we believe to be pertinent at present given the revelations in several locations around the world where the virus has been detected on cargoes and, in turn, sparked new outbreaks. Having confirmed the efficacy of this method with the leading expert in containerised transportation, we are pursuing a protocol for universal application to container units prior to loading, fully loaded, and prior to unloading to completely ensure both contamination-free cargo and the health and safety of those handling it. We have developed a rigorous, yet minorly obstructive, protocol to carry out this goal. We believe it inevitable that cargo sterilisation will become the norm as the instances of new pathogens increase due to various climatic and geo-economic trends.

Independent third-party laboratory verification from Assured Bio of Oak Ridge TN, confirms that AVAST is more than a 99.98% effective against COVID-19. Only remanent DNA remains after treatment which means that no viable pathogens remain. AVAST recently acquired its ‘CE’ marking for the European market, meeting the standards required for safety and efficacy, and is patent pending in the US.

The AVAST system is a highly developed, multi-pronged system, utilising hydrogen peroxide and ozone, breaking down into its constituent parts, oxygen and water once reacted, so no harmful chemicals are left on surfaces to be absorbed through food and skin. The active silver filtration within the unit ensures the air being drawn into the AVAST unit is also sterilised and virus-free.

Wela Group’s parent company Green Framework was founded in 2016, while Wela Group was established in early 2020 in response to the unfolding pandemic. Because Wela Group has a substantial maritime background, we are well aware of the ravages toxic chemical run-off can have on aquatic life and its lasting negative impact on the environment. We are concerned about the health risks many disinfectants pose to all of us and the environment and it is an important company value.

This article is from issue 18 of Health Europa. Click here to get your free subscription today.

Contributor Details

Barbara Dutton-Weingarten

Phone: +1 631 214 0447
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