Boeing & University Of Arizona Test Cleaning Methods For Effectiveness Against COVID-19

Boeing recently partnered with the University of Arizona to test various cleaning solutions’ ability to kill viruses such as the one that causes COVID-19. Here a test team member sprays a disinfectant over areas where the test virus, MS2, was applied. (Photo courtesy of Boeing.)

Boeing recently partnered with the University of Arizona to test cleaning solutions’ effectiveness in killing the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. The testing was part of its Confident Travel Initiative (CTI) to enhance the safety of passengers and crews during the pandemic.


The testing was conducted on an unoccupied Boeing airplane against a live virus called MS2. Those results were then correlated to SARS-CoV-2 in a protected lab by the University of Arizona’s Department of Environmental Sciences. The MS2 virus is harmless to humans and more difficult to kill than SARS-CoV-2 and has been used for years in scientific studies, but this was the first time it has been used in an airplane cabin. For the study, MS2 was placed on strategic high-touch points throughout the cabin, including seat tray tables, arm rests, seat cushions, and stowage bins as well as the lavatory and gallery. Technicians then disinfected each area with various products. They applied chemical disinfectants through manual wiping and an electrostatic sprayer, tried ultraviolet wands, and used antimicrobial coatings that are long-lasting and destroy germs and viruses on surfaces. Each area was analyzed after disinfection to determine effectiveness. While the levels of effectiveness varied, all products, methods, and technologies were successful in destroying the virus. Lab testing is ongoing to further validate efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 and similar viruses.

A Boeing employee uses the UV wand on an area sprayed with MS2 virus. The battery of tests evaluated the functionality of the UV wand as well as various cleaning methods that may be used to kill the viruses on airplane interiors. (Photo courtesy of Boeing.)

“An Airplane Behaves Differently”

“While these cleaning solutions had been tested in other environments, an airplane behaves differently,” says Mike Delaney, who leads Boeing's CTI efforts. “It was critical for us to evaluate and confirm the chemicals and techniques we recommend for our customers’ use are effective and battle-tested. By working with the University of Arizona, we were able to employ their world-renowned expertise in virology to do exactly that.”

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Source: Boeing

Posted On: 10/22/2020 4:59:32 PM