Zoono, a New Zealand headquartered business that is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and has offices in the US and UK, is making the results of testing on their antimicrobial products public and emphasising how the results prove longer lasting effectiveness against dangerous pathogens, including viruses and bacteria.
Confusion had previously arisen when it was reported that Zoono had withdrawn claims that their products were effective over long periods – up to 24 hours for their hand sanitiser and up to 30 days for their surface sanitiser. On reflection, Zoono say that their response to queries raised by Suffolk Trading Standards should have been much more focused on the best way to rapidly prove and clarify, rather than allow misconceptions to form. They wish to emphasise that there was no ‘enforcement action’ against them and they had simply volunteered to change product labelling for UK customers during the clarification period. It was a statement by a Zoono customer, not Zoono itself, relating specifically to Covid-19 that triggered the queries.
It is important to explain that no laboratories have been testing specifically with Covid-19 – they use very efficient indicator processes that cover a wide range of pathogens. And this means that even when there is strong evidence regarding effectiveness against human coronaviruses, as in the Zoono case, effectiveness against Covid-19 cannot currently be specifically cited. This applies to all disinfectant products, including hand sanitisers and surface treatments.
The reality is that over 100 laboratory tests have been completed that demonstrate the effectiveness and long lasting nature of the Zoono advanced antimicrobial products – and recently in the UK further tests, both in approved UK laboratories and ‘in situ’ have backed up their value. A UK police authority is in the process of placing a major order after having the product tested at a renowned Public Health England testing facility – and just last week a Channel 4 Dispatches programme conducting tests in public places and transport reported that a test carried out on a Travel for London bus had shown that the tested surfaces were remarkably pathogen-free. What the reporters did not know was that Transport for London have been using Zoono.
Zoono say that what is necessary is that people understand completely how their products work and how they work best, including using their products correctly, in conjunction with best practice hygiene. They, their partners and their customers are striving for a level of excellence – a ‘hygiene hero’ status that can play a critical role in safeguarding people – not just in the current crisis, but also on an ongoing basis as it should not be forgotten that every year millions are severely affected all over the world from a wide range of germs including, of course, flu and many gastrointestinal pathogens, including norovirus outbreaks.
Whilst there will be some variables within the spectrum of such widespread testing, all the scientific evidence is showing overwhelmingly that Zoono products have exceptional advantages over ‘traditional’ products that use alcohol and bleach, and that the tests do show that they can be effective for up to the claimed durations. The advantages also include much lower levels of toxicity. Zoono acknowledges that it is not possible to put all of the scientific proof on product labels and it should be clarified, so their revised labelling emphasises ‘scientifically proven’ and ‘longer lasting’ – and the explanation of the advanced science and test results is being provided online and on request. This information can then also be compared to (for example) the time an alcohol-based hand sanitising product might be effective – which is only around 2 minutes. Promoting such facts is considered an essential part of enabling people to consider which products are going to provide protection over the longest periods.
In terms of the UK situation, what has been misdescribed there, is being resolved – although ironically, the Suffolk Trading Standards process has been held up as the laboratory they were using to test Zoono products was forced to shut down when employees there became infected with Covid-19. In the meantime, Zoono has shared the results of expert testing carried out in the UK and many other countries and is making them generally available for others to study.