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American Airlines Told to Stop Using COVID-19 Cleaning Spray in Planes Over Efficacy Concerns

American Airlines Told to Stop Using COVID-19 Cleaning Spray in Planes Over Efficacy Concerns

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.

View Comments (9)
  • This has been known for months yet the airlines continue to pimp all their virus theatre…for your “safety” of course. Masks are the same nonsense. End that insanity too and let’s get back to normal.

  • But the science. So it seems they pimped the idea to everyone early in 2020 that because they clean so well and that HEPA is so awesome that planes are totally safe. Yet here we are 17 months later and we find that the spray doesn’t work any better than masks do. It’s time to end Covid-Theater.

  • What are the other states that aren’t mentioned?
    Are they blue states?
    Or is this just another example of one sided media bias.
    How’s those blue states doing with their homicide rates?
    Oh, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be creating hysteria like a democrat from New York said.
    Now I hope I ruffled some feathers.
    Long live the CCP!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Sorry to break it to ya Bub. But crime rates, homicide rates, whatever way you want to measure it are higher in your red state existence. New York City is far safer than any major city in Texas. Dallas Houston and SA have have higher crime per Wikipedia List of US Cities By Crime Rate. In fact Houston has TWICE the crime as NYC.

  • I cannot believe these comments are posted by travelers. Pretty clear they just have too much time on their hands or they’re bots.

  • Flew American to Costa Rica and that cleaner bothered my non-allergic rhinitis… Caused moderate breathing discomfort the whole time. Good riddance. I usually don’t like to fly American anyway but they do have the most convenient schedules to many central/south American designations compared to other airlines.

  • “ 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.”

    So does that mean they will just continue to clean the planes with no electrostatic spray or they will change the spray? The article doesn’t make this clear. AA already did less electrostatic spraying than Delta and United. The latter two spray their planes before every flight. AA only sprayed overnight at best.

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