Photo courtesy Pandemic Solutions
New Rochelle’s Pandemic Solutions utilizes repurposed special effects equipment to change the way Westchester businesses handle COVID-19 prevention.
When the U.S. was experiencing its very first major COVID-19 outbreaks this year, New Rochelle business owner Peter Cantone turned a forced shutdown of industry to open a brand-new service to help his community.
A 14-year veteran of the spray insulation business (you might have seen the incredibly satisfying videos), Cantone knew that local industry was pivoting quickly while New Rochelle itself had to cope with developing the earliest public health protocols. As chance would have it, a friend and former employee turned him onto a special effects company from Alabama that was repurposing its smoke and fog machines into disinfectant sprayers and, a few calls later, Pandemic Solutions was founded.
“We thought that, in this crisis, there’s got to be an opportunity to recognize that disinfectant marketers were not ready for the pandemic,” says Cantone. “There had to be a way to disinfect areas on a daily basis. The special effects people were in a situation where they already had equipment that would spray thousands of square feet.”
The devices, ranging from handheld and backpack units for easy mobility to 50-foot “storm” models for sanitizing whole sporting arenas, are called electrostatic sprayers. Each device utilizes ionization to positively charge disinfectant droplets as it mists an area. This in turn causes the disinfectant not just to stick to sprayed surfaces, but to actively be attracted to them while also repelling against itself. The result is easy and efficient full coverage of practically any hard/non-porous objects and large spaces in a short amount of time.
“We recognized that we had a huge value in the industry. Nobody had the additional funds to hire more janitors and people to clean, like schools and businesses. We had to figure out equipment that allowed us to disinfect but also keep those costs low,” says Cantone.
As Cantone notes, the publicity and high visibility of electrostatic cleaning is a boon in and of itself. “When I walk into a place, are they truly disinfecting or are they just saying that they’re doing it? There has to be a better communication,” he feels. “Now you’re using this new equipment and you’re spraying 10 to 15 feet of space. You’re covering all these spaces very quickly. That makes me feel better.”
Pandemic Solutions now serves a national clientele, although it is still based out of New Rochelle. Local businesses and organizations interested in procuring its services can reach out for more information online.