Toucan Eco, a multipurpose non-chemical solution, has become one of the first cleaning products of its kind in the UK to receive both EN 14476 and EN 16777 certification, proving its virucidal efficacy against coronaviruses.
Following independent accredited laboratory testing, Toucan Eco has been validated for use to EN standards and is certified to kill more than 99.99% (or >4-log) of viruses. Both certifications are virucidal tests targeted at a broad spectrum of enveloped viruses including coronavirus, against which many chemical disinfectants have not been certified.
EN 14476 – the more widely known certification – is a suspension test where the efficacy of the solution is tested in vitro. EN 16777, which is a certified surface test, proves that this efficacy can be applied in the real world of surface disinfecting and other cleaning processes.
This ground-breaking achievement is believed to be the first hypochlorous generator that uses just water, salt and electricity to be certified to both standards, making Toucan Eco the most effective hypochlorous solution currently available.
As well as the latest virucidal tests, biotech founder Centrego Ltd has already had the solution certified to EN 1276 and EN 13697 standards for bacterial efficacy. It is also registered as an EU Biocide for disinfectant use by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). As it’s made at a low concentration and gentle pH, it’s also food-safe, non-toxic and hypoallergenic, avoiding skin irritation and breathing difficulties for users.
The solution comprises tap water and salt which is electrolysed to break up and recombine the naturally occurring elements of water (H20) and salt (NaCl) to produce hypochlorous acid (HOCI), an effective disinfectant, and sodium hypochlorite (NAOCI) at a concentration and pH that acts as a gentle cleaner.
HOCI is a weak acid that’s produced by the human body as part of our immune system’s defence against infection. When the body comes under attack from invading bacteria and viruses, the immune system responds by sending white blood cells to the infection. Once activated, these cells produce the same HOCI, which is amongst the most potent and naturally occurring disinfectants.
Once activated, it can be sprayed directly onto any surface including glass and fabrics and can be left to dry or be wiped away. It also works as a deodoriser and you can apply it as a mist to safely disinfect large areas too.
Dr Darren Reynolds, professor in Health and Environment at the University of the West of England, explained: “Over the last three decades, we’ve assembled a body of published research to put forward the case that electrochemically-activated solutions serve as an alternative to other disinfection products.
“In my opinion, we should have used HOCl from the very start in the fight against Covid-19. It would have made a huge difference – but it’s still not too late. In our research, we’ve tested this solution against a plethora of bacteria, including MRSA, E. coli and spores, and the results are always the same – we get substantial kill.
“One of the advantages of using an electrochemically-activated solution is the speed of kill of around two seconds of contact with a bacteria on a surface or in a suspension, which is faster than the speed of kill from traditional disinfectants.”
Steve Courtney, product lead at Toucan Eco’s UK distributor, Robert Scott, added: “In the last few years, we have started to see the product being adopted by more businesses looking for non-chemical cleaning solutions that are more cost-effective and have less impact on the environment.”
Hypochlorous acid is already widely used in Japan, South Korea and America. It’s being used in the fight against Covid-19 by coronavirus swab test health workers to disinfect their clothing using portable shower booths. In the UK, it’s already being used to disinfect ambulance cabins by installing a misting system to spray each cabin between patients, as well as in many other businesses including opticians, dentists, schools, restaurants and manufacturing sites.
Courtney continued: “As with the application of any cleaning product, it’s most effective when used in two stages. This is widely recognised as being the most effective way to clean and disinfect, as disinfectants kill more germs if surfaces are grease and dirt free. With Toucan Eco, you can use the solution for both stages.
“The contact between the disinfectant and surface is vital. With Toucan Eco, you can spray and wipe – we recommend using microfibre products here – and also allow the surface to dry naturally where possible.
“This double certification proves its complete effectiveness. In the wake of Covid-19, there is a real opportunity for businesses to adopt a more sustainable cleaning system that can be used daily as a multipurpose disinfectant cleaner, that’s effective against coronaviruses, and reduces the use of synthetic chemicals and the single-use plastic bottles they are supplied in.”