Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience…
American Airlines has been forced to stop using a cleaning spray that is meant to provide long-lasting protection against COVID-19 on surfaces like armrests and tray tables after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pulled emergency use approval for the product over concerns about its effectiveness.
Allied BioScience has been told to immediately stop selling and distributing its SurfaceWise2 cleaning spray because of “scientific concerns regarding product performance” in real-world conditions.
“EPA laboratory testing indicates the product’s performance is less reliable under real-world conditions, particularly when it is exposed to moisture or abrasion,” the agency said on Thursday. “Based on all the available efficacy data for SurfaceWise2, EPA does not support its continued emergency use.”
SurfaceWise2 had received approval for use in several states including Texas where American Airlines has been using it as an electrostatic spraying solution since last August.
“We will continue to follow all EPA and federal guidance on this matter. Other elements of American’s enhanced onboard Clean Commitment program remain in effect and exceed CDC guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of our customers and team members,” the airline said in an emailed statement.
Confirming that SurfaceWise2 would no longer be used, a spokesperson for AA said the airline would continue to disinfect and deep clean its planes every night using an EPA-approved cleaning solution.
“Our cleaning program is part of a multi-layered approach, which also includes the use of hospital-grade HEPA filters, which clean the cabin air every 2-4 minutes and capture at least 99.97% of airborne microbes, including virtually all bacteria and viruses like COVID-19,” a statement from the Dallas Forth Worth-based carrier continued.
“We also provide customers with disinfecting wipes on all American flights and continue our strict adherence to the U.S. federal mask mandate.”
American Airlines touted SurfaceWise2 as the “first-ever long-lasting product to help fight the spread of the novel coronavirus” but it was introduced at a time when it was still feared that COVID-19 could be easily caught through fomite infection.
Since then, it’s now known that infection in the vast majority of cases happens by breathing in virus particles – which is why airlines still support the federal face mask mandate and may even continue to enforce face mask rules even once the mandate ends on September 13.
Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience at a major Middle East and European airline. Mateusz is passionate about the aviation industry and helping aspiring flight attendants achieve their dreams. Cabin crew recruitment can be tough, ultra-competitive and just a little bit confusing - Mateusz has been there and done that. He's got the low down on what really works.