There is a way out...
We are all familiar with a ‘Covid Safe Environment’, one where we are required to keep our distance from others, wash our hands, sanitise everything and sneeze into our elbows, but there is one person who knows just that little bit more.
Today I am delighted to introduce Tom Crowley, the virus buster who has been around for over 100 years.
No, wait. Tom is the ‘virus buster’ (think hazmat suits and backpacks a la Ghostbusters) but HE hasn’t been around for over 100 years, the technology he busts viruses with has.
Okay, cheap joke. You may groan. And he doesn’t wear a hazmat suit or carry a backpack except to hold his sandwiches, but hey, it got your attention. Right?
Tom, when I first meet him, strikes me as a knowledgeable guy, keen to help us all in eradicating Covid from our lives – in a non-medical way. I am instantly fascinated as to how that is possible and ask him to elaborate.
‘The technology,’ he says, ‘operates by employing UVC light and has been around for over 100 years. It was first used in the shipping industry where it was installed to maintain the health of the ship’s eco-system.’
I am instantly intrigued.
He explains. ‘The UVC light eradicated parasites which were rife on ships at the time, mainly caused by people living in such close and cramped quarters. The shipping industry used this technology to great effect.’
So, I wonder, how does this fit with Covid?
‘When Covid 19 first broke out,’ he tells me, ‘there was research done to discover if this method of using UVC lighting could kill the virus. And it did.’
Wait. A light will kill Covid? I am amazed. Why, I wonder, if there are systems that can kill the virus, are we not using them?
But before we get to that, Tom is keen to explain what his systems actually are and how they work. From the information he shows me I can see that at the most basic level these units resemble a fan or standing light. The device draws the air from the room in at the bottom and then passes it upwards through a cycle of UVC light before expelling it again at the top. This process, Tom says, causes the DNA of the virus to be killed thus removing any viruses or infections. I am keen to know more.
‘The machines can work on a continuous cycle’, Tom advises, ‘allowing the air to be pulled through and re-distributed for as long as required. If the area to be ‘cleansed’ is relatively small then you may only need it to operate for a short period of time, maybe an hour or so every 24 hours. For a larger operation though,’ he states, ‘it will need to run for longer. It is worth noting,’ he affirms, ‘that once cleansed, the environment will stay virus free for a considerable length of time’.
Having not heard of UVC light I ask Tom to elaborate on its safety.
‘It was developed in Germany,’ he says, ‘has been rigorously tested and is EU approved. There are systems in Germany that run 24/7, some sited in schools and care homes where they have helped to eradicate the SARS virus. It is,’ he reassures me, ‘totally safe. There is no harm to humans or animals,’ he confirms, ‘in fact you could sit your granny and your budgie next to it and they would not feel any ill effects.’
To me, this sounds too good to be true so again I go back to my earlier point. If we can kill this virus, why are these systems not being installed in more critical areas such as hospitals?
‘Finance is always an issue for the NHS,’ Tom advises, ‘although there are negotiations in progress for this to be achieved long-term. The beauty of this technology is that it can be installed into the existing air conditioning which allows it to reach much larger areas.’
I am genuinely impressed by what Tom has told me although I can see there is a long road ahead for his company. I ask how easy this is to implement in our homes if, for example, we would like visitors when Covid or any other such virus is still present.
‘We are able to offer a domestic solution,’ he says, ‘which can cost as little as £350. There are so many different products available, some turn on and off automatically, some are able to detect when there are people close by and others can be a simple plug and play option. In the home,’ he explains, ‘you would site the unit in the most vulnerable area – perhaps the entrance hall which would have the most foot traffic – and, used correctly, the device would reduce the probability of infection between people to 0.0001.’
Incredible. I am genuinely impressed that what would appear to be a simple light (albeit UVC rays) can do something that medical science has yet to achieve to anywhere near the same levels of success. It still seems strange to me that there is such a powerful ‘virus-busting’ solution available, yet during the current pandemic we have barely heard its mention.
Tom, he tells me, began his working career in Risk Management and Security from where he moved into Project Management and then Environmental Project Management which led to his current role. This he commenced in September 2020. It is clear he is knowledgeable and extremely passionate about the product he promotes and, after speaking to him and understanding the process a little bit more, I can definitely see why. It seems such a simple solution, one that has been around for many years, so I ask if he can see this becoming more commonplace in the future.
‘Yes,’ he replies without hesitation, ‘apart from the obvious benefits in respect to virus management and eradication, it gives employers peace of mind. In a time when we are all much more focused on our own and our employee’s welfare, to be able to provide a customer with a system like this will guarantee that their workers are entering a safe environment. This will undoubtedly help us to return to normality sooner rather than later.’
By the end of the interview, I am wondering where I sign up to get one installed in my house. The technology seems so simple when pitted against the intricacies of the virus we are currently living with and it still makes little sense to me that (a) we are not more aware of the existence of this technology and (b) there is not a greater movement for these systems to be installed everywhere.
Tom hopes, as do I, that the simple act of writing this article will help to educate us. In the future it would be wonderful to think that installation of a ‘virus buster’ system will be as relevant and commonplace as air conditioning.
I for one will be championing this technology and hope that Tom and his team can bring the message home.
We can kill Covid and we can get back to normal.
This simple statement is music to my ears.