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Coronavirus
As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Businesses And Schools Seek 'Clean Air' During COVID-19

clean air coronavirus
Courtesy of Extreme Microbial Technologies
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A Extreme Microbial Technologies technician installs a Total Air and Surface Purification device at James Free Jewelers in Dayton, Ohio.

A local sterilization company has seen its business skyrocket during the pandemic. Not only is it serving its regular food-industry customers but new ones like law firms, dentists and hair salons who want to protect against COVID-19.

Before the pandemic, Dan Glier of Glier's Meats in Covington was looking for an additional step to keep his food safe. The concern with the meat industry is bacteria. In 2018 ,he learned about Extreme Microbial Technologies, a Centerville company that purifies the air and ultimately cleans everything in the room.

The machine takes the moisture from the air, creates a spark that produces ozone and the water and ozone are combined to create molecular hydrogen peroxide.

Glier ordered three machines and they were working so well he ordered three more - all before the pandemic. Then Glier noticed something. Nobody was getting sick and his employees weren't missing any work. He says none of his employees have gotten the coronavirus.

Glier tells of the story of when he called owner Randall Mount. "I said, 'Is this thing effective for viruses?' And he said 'Yes, it kills viruses too, but that's not what we were aiming our machine for.' "

Michael Karaman, president of James Free Jewelers in Cincinnati and Dayton, heard about the benefits of Extreme Microbial Technologies and now has it in all of his stores and offices. Karaman still offers masks and cleans constantly. Extreme Microbial is just one sanitizing step. "I wish that every retailer in the country will do that, at least something to protect us from the COVID enemy that comes against us," he says.

Extreme Microbial says the system is safe. The hydrogen peroxide gas is 50 times lower than OSHA and EPA acceptance. Owner Mount says he's had it in his house for eight years and hasn't gotten sick.

Glier says he had a school and a library call him to discuss the product. Extreme Microbial says Christo Rey and Ohio Northern University have his product.

This technology isn't new. It was developed for NASA in the 1960s. It's not cheap either. Mount says it's $1,400 for a 2,000-square foot building.

Extreme Microbial does have competitors and there are other ways to sanitize which also claim to kill 99.9% of viruses including Ozone and Ultraviolet Light. On the EPA's website the agency says it cannot confirm whether, or under what circumstances, such products might be effective against the spread of COVID-19.

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology