HOUSTON — A Houston small business owner that advertised a spray-on chemical that kills COVID-19 for weeks has taken down its website after federal regulators and the product’s manufacturer disputed the claims.
*Watch this story on KHOU 11 News at 6 p.m.*
As the pandemic curtailed demand at his party supply rental business, Robert De Los Santos pivoted and opened up Sky High Defense, a company offering electrostatic spraying to protect against coronavirus.
“We spray a biotech product that protects surfaces for three to six weeks from COVID-19,” De Los Santos said.
On the company’s Facebook page, De Los Santos said the non-toxic formula “kills viruses like Covid-19” for that long. A YouTube video explained how the spray dries to become an “invincible nanoscopic layer.” The company website also initially advertised that the product was “EPA endorsed.”
While the chemical the company uses is on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of more than 400 products registered with the agency as effective against Covid-19, an agency spokesman said that “does not constitute an endorsement by EPA.”
“If that is something that is not correct, I will definitely look into that,” De Los Santos said.
A short time later he changed the wording on his website to “EPA registered.”
The EPA also refuted the company’s claim of long-term protection against coronavirus.
“There are no EPA-registered products … that have been approved to state on their label that they are effective against viruses over the course of hours to months,” an EPA spokesperson said.
The agency added that EPA-registered surface disinfectants kill viruses at the time they are used, but do not have any residual or long-lasting efficacy.
“After use, if new viral particles come into contact with the surface, a previously applied disinfectant will not protect against these new particles.”
De Los Santos said his intention was not to confuse the public but to help flatten the curve of the pandemic’s spread.
“We’re not in any way trying to mislead anyone, we’re using what we know about the product from the manufacturer,” he said.
De Los Santos provided literature from the Illinois-based manufacturer, Strategia Project Management, that stated its disinfectant Microsure “continues to help destroy viruses, bacteria and other microbes for several weeks after application.” But an attorney for Strategia told KHOU 11 Investigates the company does not make specific COVID-19 claims.
"Moreover, no one, including Sky High Defense, is authorized to make COVID-19 claims in connection with Strategia products,” Edward Laborde said.
Sky High Defense has since taken its website down. De Los Santos said he hopes to launch it again a couple of weeks.
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