Role of Persistent Disinfectants in Reducing Disease Transmission from Contaminated Surfaces

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Boeing investigated disinfectant methods that provide active and continuous (or “persistent”) disinfection.

The airline industry responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by adopting various disinfection methods to eliminate the SARS-CoV2 virus. Although the primary transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is airborne, transmission by surface contamination is a secondary threat. The uniqueness of the aircraft environment highlights the value of surface decontamination to minimize exposure. With guidance from Boeing, high-touch cabin surfaces are being thoroughly disinfected between flights, using disinfectants and protectants authorized by the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) List N and approved by Boeing for aircraft cabin and cockpit use.

To explore how in-flight safety might be further enhanced, disinfectant methods that provide active and continuous (or “persistent”) disinfection, also called persistent disinfectants, were investigated. In particular, low touch point and high touch point interactions with prolonged contact in the flight environment showed differential benefit from persistent disinfectant methods. Therefore, these persistent disinfectant methods are promising for further reducing the risk of viral transmission during travel.