STANLEY, NC— Earlex has joined the rapidly growing number of companies with UV light technology that are testing that technology against the H1N1 “Swine Flu” and finding that the technology is proving effective at killing the virus.
In the past month or two, other companies that have made UV light technology a signature merchandising effort— Verilux and Violight—have also announced the results of independent lab tests that indicate their products are effective against H1N1 and now Earlex has done the same for its UV light/handheld vac combination, called Raycop. According to the company, the vac’s effects against the virus were “independently tested by a leading international laboratory in August,” and have been shown to effectively kill the virus. The data, according to the company, “confirms that two seconds of exposure of the Influenza A virus H1N1 to Raycop’s UVC technology effectively kills more than 99.9% of the virus.”
The company is quickly moving to adapt its packaging and merchandising efforts to communicate that new capability to consumers and will continue to more directly call out the product’s H1N1 fighting capabilities as new packaging works its way through the system.
“We’re working with our online retailers, which obviously can promote something very quickly to get this information out,” Ian Mullaney, CEO of Earlex Inc. told HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®. “Obviously for our catalog customers that will take a little longer. For our [brick and mortar]customers, we’re sending them stickers that can immediately be put on packaging and any new orders will have the labels applied at that point.”
Mullaney believes that growing consumer concern about H1N1 is likely to have a significant impact on awareness and sales growth of products utilizing UV light technology. The technology, which has been used commercially for years, has gradually been finding its way into the consumer product segment over the past three to four years and has been building awareness slowly.
Widespread H1N1 Concern
With widespread media coverage of the H1N1 virus and with widespread consumer exposure to the virus— 41 U.S. states are currently classified by the U.S. Center For Disease Control (CDC) as having “widespread” outbreaks of the disease— consumer awareness and concern is likely to continue growing heading into flu season.
Further, the CDC has indicated that studies show that this new influenza virus can survive on environmental surfaces and can infect a person from two and eight hours after being deposited on the surface. Raycop, like other UV-light-technology products, was originally positioned as a means to eliminate bacteria such as E.Coli and Staphylococci and reduce the allergens that aggravate or lead to symptoms of asthma and other allergies. And Mullaney indicated the company is still emphasizing those capabilities.
“We’re still trying to get the point across that cleaning matters, particularly in areas like bedding where people spend much of their time and very rarely think about this kind of cleaning,” Mullaney said. “We believe it’s still important to heighten awareness of these product capabilities as well.”