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Is disinfecting with smoke the next-level safety protocol? Chemist Pinky Tobiano says yes

By Tanya Lara Published Aug 16, 2021 5:16 pm Updated Aug 16, 2021 6:12 pm

The bad news about COVID-19 has been coming one after the other these past days. New cases keep breaking record infections despite the strictest lockdown enforced on Metro Manila, effectively grinding the economy to a halt and locking people in their homes. Again.

Those who have been religiously following all safety protocols—staying home, washing their hands, wearing facemask and shield when they go out for essentials—are asking, well, what else are we supposed to do?

Chemist Pinky Tobiano—cancer survivor, businesswoman, philanthropist—says that with recent COVID surges and new strains, we must take stronger precautions to keep households and businesses safe.

We are in the new normal—but as we speak the goal posts keep moving.

Smoke can disinfect hard-to-reach areas like AC vents.

Last week, she introduced a smoke disinfectant from Spain that claims to kill the virus that causes COVID-19 (along with other viruses and bacteria). Called Sanivir Smoke, it’s made by Spanish company Bioplagen and claims to disinfect the air, exposed surfaces and hard-to-reach areas such as AC vents.

Pinky says the fumigant disinfectant kills all types of viruses, bacteria and fungi. It contains Orthophenylphenol (7.0%) and Glutaraldehyde (3.5%), two powerful ingredients “proven to kill the coronavirus. It’s also FDA-approved.”

Chemist Pinky Tobiano says Sanivir Smoke can kill viruses and bacteria in the air and on surfaces up to 14 days.

Before we even talk about how it works or if it’s necessary in these COVID times, the question on everyone’s mind is: is COVID airborne?

According to the US CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), “There is evidence that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than 6 feet away. This is called airborne transmission. These transmissions occurred in indoor spaces with inadequate ventilation. In general, being outdoors and in spaces with good ventilation reduces the risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19...

"Respiratory droplets can also land on surfaces and objects. It is possible that a person could get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. Spread from touching surfaces is not thought to be a common way that COVID-19 spreads.”

So, is fumigating really more effective than other delivery systems such as fogging, misting, UV, or spray disinfection? Yes, according to Pinky.

“Sanivir Smoke’s molecules stay in the air and surfaces from a week to 14 days, killing microbes that may enter. Misting is very dense water vapor and while it is effective for surface disinfection, it stays in the air for only five minutes. Air purifiers filter contaminants in the air but don’t kill the microbes. Liquid disinfectants kill all types of bacteria, viruses and spores on the surface but don’t last that long—foot baths and surfaces are virus-free for only up to 24 hours.”

Pinky uses Sanivir wherever she goes because of her compromised immune system. The Farm at San Benito, where she was staying during the video conference, has partnered with Sanivir for the sanitation of its guest and treatment rooms.

There, she demonstrated how it works by shaking a 25-gram can of Sanivir to loosen the powder inside and took out the wick’s plastic covering. She then lit the wick and a broad-spectrum dry smoke ensued.

The 25-gram canister covers 30-50 square meters, ideal for living areas, cars, vans, condos, bedrooms, and conference rooms. Offices, warehouses, restaurants, and other areas that range between 500-550 square meters will need one kilogram of Sanivir.

After you fumigate a room, it’s better to leave it for 6 to 8 hours and ventilate the area for an hour before using it again to remove the remaining smoke inside.

She adds that this smoke disinfectant is children and pet-safe. “Once applied, Sanivir keeps surfaces and areas protected for up to 14 days, depending on the foot traffic of people coming in and out of the disinfected area).”

Pinky says, “The particle type of a smoke disinfectant is one micron. Ibig sabihin napaka gaan niya it stays in the air. Yung liquid disinfectant and others, they’re very heavy kaya bumabagsak. This is a type of disinfect that that can penetrate on top. Kumbaga sa taas yung air napapatay niya. A smoke disinfectant can kill viruses for as long as it is enclosed; liquid disinfectants cannot penetrate the deepest (areas of) electronics and gadgets or the airborne. Misting cannot be used in cars, but Sanivir can.”

Sanivir Smoke is available on online shops, Shopee, Nest Genie and Lazada; and at Rustan’s Department Store. You may also fill up our online order form at