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Recently there has been a spotlight shone on one aspect of coronavirus – airborne transmission. In July the World Health Organisation said there was “emerging evidence” of airborne coronavirus transmission following an open letter from a group of over 200 scientists warning that the virus could be transmitted through tiny aerosols breathed out by those infected. Since then the government announced face coverings would be made mandatory in shops in England as well as on public transport in an attempt to cut down on infections cause by expelled droplets or aerosols. While scientific advice is constantly evolving, the new evidence and guidelines make it clear that guarding against airborne transmission is increasingly important in fighting the COVID-19 virus.
What can be done to protect ourselves? Facemasks might help prevent infection while out and about, but they don’t kill the virus and can’t be worn all the time. The answer we need is something like hand sanitiser for the air, working to disinfect our environment rather than our skin. While the idea may sound futuristic, technology that can do just that has been around since the 1890s. Enter Ashleigh & Burwood Catalytic Fragrance Lamps, a simple product proven to cleanse air of up to 97% of coronavirus.* To understand Lamps, how they work and how they can protect you and sanitise the air in your home, let’s first learn more about coronavirus and how it can be destroyed.
To determine how we can tackle coronavirus in our home, we first have to understand how they spread. Coronavirus passes from person to person via the touching of contaminated hands or surfaces, through droplets coughed or sneezed into the air by an infected person and possibly by airborne particles. Studies indicate that the COVID-19 virus can survive in the air for up to three hours and on surfaces for up to three days. Even common household activities such as flushing the toilet or using kitchen exhaust fans can inadvertently spread the virus through the air.
Soap and alcohol-based disinfectants are effective against coronavirus, which is why it’s important to regularly wash your hands and to wipe down surfaces with disinfectant to avoid infection. Soaps destroy coronaviruses by dissolving the protective fatty layer which surrounds coronavirus particles. This causes the particle to collapse and it is no longer able to transmit the virus. Alcohol-based products disrupt the structure of the proteins which make up coronavirus particles, which results in the virus being inactivated.
While soap and water will help destroy coronavirus on your skin and alcohol-based disinfectant sprays will kill off virus particles on surfaces, a different method is required to tackle airborne coronavirus particles. This method is Fragrance Lamps which can destroy up to 97% of airborne coronavirus. The original Lamp technology dates back over 120 years, to when a French pharmacist discovered the catalytic combustion process, and Lamps came to be widely used to help disinfect and purify the air in hospitals, thus cutting down on infection transmission. Ashleigh & Burwood have taken the original technology and tweaked and refined it over the course of the last 10 years, to create what we believe is the best system out there.
Ashleigh & Burwood Catalytic Fragrance Lamps release disinfecting IPA alcohol (the same ingredient found in hand sanitisers) into the air through catalytic combustion. When the alcohol vapour interacts with coronavirus particles it dissolves the lipid membranes and denatures the proteins of the virus. This causes the virus to literally fall apart when exposed to alcohol vapour, and stops the virus being transmitted further. Research has found that Ashleigh & Burwood Catalytic Fragrance Lamps sufficiently diffuse IPA into the air to inactivate significant percentages of both airborne and surface virus.
Ashleigh & Burwood Catalytic Fragrance Lamps begin to work when the catalyst (platinum found in the stone part of the Lamp’s stone/wick assembly) is heated, by lighting the stone for two to three minutes. This creates a self-sustaining catalytic combustion reaction. The IPA in the Lamp Fragrance is drawn up via the cotton wick and combusted through the stone. Part of the IPA is oxidised while the rest is released into the air. The heated IPA rises into the air, and through convection currents is diffused quickly throughout the surrounding area. Fragrance Lamps emit IPA in ultra-fine particles which rise quickly and distribute rapidly, far smaller than droplets produced by spray, or standard evaporation, and at a far greater rate.
When the Fragrance Lamp is used in accordance with the instructions, the amount of IPA released into the air is well within the safe limits for adults, children and pets alike. The majority of the IPA is burned during the catalytic combustion process which breaks it down into simply water and carbon dioxide, and the remaining IPA which is released into the air diffuses very rapidly.
The OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) limit for exposure to IPA is an airborne concentration of 400 ppm (parts per million). Using a large Fragrance Lamp for the recommended 30 min period, in an average sized room (20m2 floor size), results in an airborne concentration of IPA around 19ppm, assuming zero airflow. Allowing for normal household conditions with a small airflow, the concentration will be even lower than this.
Tests to determine the effect of Ashleigh & Burwood’s catalytic lamp technology on airborne and surface coronavirus were conducted in a test chamber to quantify the amount of inactivated coronavirus. As the test was conducted to find out the effect of the alcohol in Lamp Fragrance against the fatty protective layer, or lipid envelope structure, of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) a respiratory coronavirus found in rats (Parkers / RCoV-P), which closely resembles SARS-CoV-2 in structure was selected for the testing.**
The test results found that Ashleigh & Burwood Catalytic Fragrance Lamps reduced the amount of active airborne coronavirus by up to 97% following 15 to 30 minutes of exposure as well as reducing the amount of active surface coronavirus by up to 60% after 30 minutes of exposure.
*Testing conducted under laboratory conditions by an AIHA-LAP, LLC accredited laboratory (ISO 17025 compliant)
**All coronaviruses share the same lipid envelope structure, so while the RNA code of RCoV-P is a little bit different to the COVID-19 virus, for all practical testing purposes it is structurally identical.