Few days back I came across an ad in a newspaper claiming ‘Swine Flu Free Homes’. Obviously, the ad was from a real estate developer who claims to have developed a home free of H1N1 viruses. H1N1 viruses cause Swine Flu, an influenza which has so far caused more than 1000 deaths in India alone in last three months and more than 30000 have been affected. At a time when the entire nation is struggling with this deadly virus, such a claim by a developer appears as a mere marketing gimmick. However, my left brain pulled the thinking string up and forced me to dive deep into this ‘claim’. Isn’t it possible! Can’t a home be developed which resists viruses and bacteria!
A little research helped me become aware that there are measures through which one can make germ free homes. Surprisingly, there is no rocket science behind it. Eventually, these measures are in practice in many countries as well. Like MIT in year 2006 developed a paint which can kill influenza viruses that land on surfaces coated with it, potentially offering a new weapon in the battle against a disease that kills hundreds and thousands of people every year.
Influenza is spread when viruses released by an infected person accumulate on surfaces, where other people pick them up. Stopping the viruses before they infect people could prevent some flu cases. What a simple and effective thought! This new substance can do just that, by killing influenza viruses before they infect new hosts. These “antimicrobial paints,” which can be sprayed or brushed onto surfaces, consist of spiky polymers that poke holes in the membranes that surround influenza viruses.
Another breakthrough in this direction came in year 2009 when scientists at the University of South Dakota invented a new germ-killing molecule that could be added to commercial brands of paint to give the paint long-lasting antimicrobial properties.
These molecules include a bleach-like substance called an N-Halamine. Which was further developed into Cl-TMPM. At room temperature, Cl-TMPM is just colourless oil. However, when these droplets are suspended in a water-based latex emulsion they form a kind of coating to be used along with paints.
When tested in labs, it was found that Staphylococcus aureus organisms were killed with 10 minutes of contact, and E coli organisms were killed with 5 minutes of contact. Paint treated with Cl-TMPM was even effective against the superbug MRSA and other drug-resistant bacteria. In addition, three months after the scientists introduced Mold onto surfaces with conventional paint and Cl-TMPM paint, 100 percent of the conventional paint surface was covered with Mold, whereas no Mold growth could be detected on the Cl-TMPM surface.
India did not have a history of Swine Flu until year 2009 when this pandemic broke out causing more than 1000 deaths in the first year itself. This year as well this fatal disease is committed to cross its earlier tombstones. And in between we come across a claim of ‘Swine Flu Free Homes’! Given the circumstances and the way we as a society react, awareness about these viruses and other germs has been limited, obviously. As a tendency, we do not react to such claims till the time it becomes too late to react. However, a small secondary research with a little effort proves that this claim is actually achievable and can change the scenario altogether.
It is interesting to know that these technologies can prevent many other diseases as well which spread through air. What technology would be used, How this can be done, these will get revealed in a matter of time. What is important is to know is that that this can actually be done. It’s not just a joke. A Swine Flu Free Home is actually possible.
About Santosh Sinha
A communication professional with more than 8 years of experience in real estate domain, Santosh Sinha has observed minutely every move of the sector so far. A strategist by profession, a writer by nature, Santosh Sinha loves to pen his thoughts, thereby allowing his readers to understand the nitty-gritties of Real Estate and get benefited out of it.