Entrepreneurs at war against Covid: Lucio Tomasella

(To Andrea Gaspardo)
11/07/22

Although more than two and a half years have passed since its "official" beginning, the Covid-19 pandemic still continues to affect our daily reality today. During this long period of time Online Defense it has never failed to deal with the evolution of the pandemic and its effects on a global level.

Today, we want to offer you something different. The testimony of an entrepreneur, Lucio Tomasella, who, precisely because of the object of his corporate business, found himself literally at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 ...

Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur and why did you choose the sanitation sector to develop your business?

I have always been an entrepreneur since I finished my studies, a little by chance, a little because of a modicum of recklessness that led me to always want to be in control of myself, with all the related and connected risks. However, I have always wanted to propose innovative ideas and projects: my first company, founded in 1994, was involved in the recycling of IT products (thirty years ago! I was one of the pioneers in this sector) specifically of consumables for printers, was small size, I had up to twenty employees and had as customers the main banking and insurance institutions in Italy, as well as various public bodies including, for example, the Arma dei Carabinieri, the State Railways or the Revenue Agency throughout the National Territory. Then, doing this job (the printers of the period emitted, in addition to the prints, a series of pollutants including formaldehyde, toner powder, ozone, etc ... very harmful) I started, about 15 years ago, to be interested in indoor pollution and the risks that this entailed and of systems to improve the quality of life for all of us by improving the quality of indoor air, both at home and in the workplace.

What does “sanitizing an environment” mean and what impact can this process have on public health?

The word "sanitation" brings together a series of rather complex problems from a legislative point of view, of the use of more or less effective products in the immediate, short or long term, which involves a series of experiments, tests and use of materials that owe us lead to an optimal result.

For us, sanitizing an environment means significantly improving its air quality, substantially limiting the proliferation of all pollutants, whether they are organic (viruses, bacteria, pollen, molds, prions ...) or inorganic (VOCs, formaldehyde, PM10 ...) with all the related bad smells, using "green" technologies with low environmental impact, which do not produce waste, have no future management or maintenance costs, in practice they are almost "invisible", but at the same time very effective .

The impact on public health can be very important: it ranges from limiting contagions and infections with consequent improvement in the quality of life for all of us (this is also possible for our animal friends, for example by improving hygiene inside. farms) to limit the use of medicines and hospitalization with (also) lower costs for the public purse.

What technologies and materials are typically used to achieve this?

The most common technologies range from the classic "elbow grease" (cloths with alcohol or chlorine or other detergents) to machines that emit ozone (with all the associated risks of both effectiveness and danger) or hydrogen peroxide, then there are electronic tools for photocatalytic sanitization, or air filtering machines with "special" filters ... all these however have different handicaps, one above all they work only if connected to an electrical system and once switched off the environment becomes polluted again, they have costs management and produce waste. We, on the other hand, have chosen a very simple system and now over-tested by dozens and dozens of laboratory tests and field tests: a simple homogeneous surface in plastic, wood or metal on which we have applied a titanium dioxide-based photocatalyst. ; this surface, once hit by a light source, emits electrons which then break up the water molecules that are nearby, transforming them into H2O2, or hydrogen peroxide, which is one of the most powerful disinfectants known. The convective motion of the air present in all environments does the rest.

What do our products need? A nearby light source, a minimum of relative humidity and a minimum of air displacement. What advantages do they have? They cost very little, have a multi-year duration, constant air purification, in real time, in the presence of people, with zero management costs.

How did you react to the news that, in early January 2020, the world was in the throes of a pandemic?

It was certainly a bolt from the blue that we were not used to, the fright was there, but I knew that in any case we would be able to find tools to counter the pandemic, both technologically and scientifically, as has always happened over the centuries. past with previous pandemics.

When did you have the intuition that the technologies and products you developed could also be used in the "world war at Covid-19"?

It was certainly not immediate, at that time I received hundreds of phone calls with requests for information on the merits, but I did not know what to answer, it was all too new and I did not have precise information if my products could be useful, so I began a long series of research to find laboratories that could help me in developing efficacy tests of my products against the SARS-CoV2 virus, everyone told me that at the moment it was not possible (two years ago only very few laboratories in the world did such tests), up to when the intuition of a friend to use virus emulators (specifically the synthetic RNA similar to the SARS-CoV2 RNA) opened the doors to the experimentation that bore fruit.

We understood that RNA was eliminated in a few moments by the photocatalysis triggered by our "films", consequently I looked to the future with a lot of optimism that it could be useful in the fight against the pandemic and I started talking about it, even if with a lot of (justified) distrust on the part of the interlocutors (it was all too new and the solution proposed by us was, perhaps, too easy), then gradually the competence and the documentation proposed have and are taking over against mistrust, especially among the more scientifically prepared interlocutors and less obtuse.

What kind of certifications of excellence have you obtained?

TEST REPORT ON AIR-ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS ACCORDING TO THE ISO 4833-1: 2013 AND ISO 21527-2: 2008 STANDARDS issued by the Molecular Microbiology Laboratory of VELTIA Labs in Athens / Greece on 02/01/2022

EFFICACY TEST ON BACTERIA, AIR AND SURFACES CARRIED OUT AT THE UOC HOSPITAL HYGIENE DEPARTMENT issued by AOU “G. Martino "of Messina on 02/12/2021

DECLARATION OF MICROBIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS PRE- AND POST-INSTALLATION OF WIGLASS SANITIZING FILMS issued by UOC of Clinical Pathology and Virology of the AO Papardo of Messina on 29/10/2021

PHOTOCATALYTIC FILMS: CERTIFIED INSPECTION ON THE BASIS OF THE EVALUATION OF THE DOCUMENTATION PROVIDED, WHICH PROVES THE SANITIZING PROPERTIES OF THE WIPPYIDEA PRODUCT issued by Bureau Veritas, Padua, on 09/08/2021

DISINFECTANT EFFICACY TEST FOR ENVIRONMENTS AND SURFACES ON WIGLASS PHOTOCATALYTIC FILM Confirmation of disinfectant and antiseptic properties in compliance with UNI-EN 13697: 2015 (sanitation capacity of 99% on tested microorganisms), issued by the AGGA hygiene laboratory in Buenos Aires / Argentina on 12/07/2021

REPORT OF THE SERVICE FOR THE QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT OF THE VIRUCIDAL ACTIVITY OF WIGLASS PHOTOCATALYTIC FILMS Confirmation of the virucidal activity in 55 sec. 90% against SARS-CoV-2-like Coronavirus, in accordance with the Reed-Muench method, issued by the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Exact and Natural Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires / Argentina on 22/05/2021

EVALUATION REPORT OF SANITIZING CAPACITY ON RNA VIRUS FCV SIMIL-SARS-COV.2 issued by the BIOKIM Srl laboratory of Modena on 01/09/2020

TESTS OF EFFICIENCY OF SANITIZATION OF SURFACES WITH SYNTHETIC RNA SIMIL COVID-19 carried out by EURO CHEM 2000 Srl of Porcia (PN) on 22/06/2020

A LONG SERIES OF FIELD TESTS USING AN INNOVATIVE INSTRUMENT CALLED BIOLUMINOMETER

Who has adopted the WippyIdea brand products so far and what kind of feedback have you had?

Our customers are very heterogeneous and range from public transport companies such as Atap SpA of Pordenone first in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region then followed by all the others in the Region, to MoM (Mobilità di Marca, in the Province of Treviso was the first ever to make use of our technology, after a series of tests and experiments that lasted months), ATMs in Messina, various ACTV water buses in Venice, various hospitals, various schools1, gyms, hotels (one above all the Hotel Cristallo in Cortina d'Ampezzo), motorway service areas, private companies of international importance, thermoelectric plants.

The feedback we have had are all very positive, we have not had any complaints, indeed, only compliments and satisfaction!

However, I would like to clarify that we provide a highly appreciated pre- and post-sales service: in summary we always offer environmental analyzes before and after the installation of our products to ensure that customers always have the "pulse" of the environmental situation and are always guaranteed from the point of view of the effectiveness of the products.

However, I would point out that, often, it is also our Customers who have environmental analyzes carried out on their own in their facilities to verify that what we apply complies with what is guaranteed and, to date, we have never had any unpleasant surprises. Indeed, the performance of our products is often even better with the passing of the months compared to the first analyzes carried out immediately after the installations.

Do you think that, from the beginning of the pandemic until today, both central and local authorities have been receptive to ideas from the business world on how to better address the pandemic problem?

I really want to believe so, even within the limits of knowledge and in the vast majority of situations, we must bear in mind the "novelty" of the pandemic with all that has led to the search for more or less probable solutions with all the risks that derive from it , initially no one knew how and in which direction to move, everyone gave and gives an opinion with a solution that can be more or less effective, I put myself in the shoes of those who had and must make important decisions, must listen to hundreds of opinions, receive thousands of mail with the most varied suggestions, must be attentive to the media ...

The pandemic data tell us that, unfortunately, both in Italy and worldwide, Covid-19 has not been defeated at all but on the contrary, further waves and developments await us for the next 2-3 years. How are you preparing to face these new challenges?

We are always carrying out further tests of efficacy and verification of our products, both in the laboratory and in the field, we communicate, participate in congresses and meetings on the merits, for some months we have been honored to make use of the scientific collaboration of a doctor of the caliber of Professor Umberto Tirelli (Oncologist and specialist in infectious diseases of international importance, former head of Oncology at the CRO of Aviano) who is providing us with valuable advice and is preparing publications for the main scientific journals dedicated to our work.

We also research new materials and surfaces on which to apply our ideas (the multi-year duration of our products as well as the future lack of management costs is one of our strengths).

We recently reached an agreement with a leading European Insurance Company for which all our products have product liability insurance coverage, this for greater protection of our customers, all after careful examination of all our documents by the company itself.

In summary, we do not stand still for a moment: we are working more and more to give more and more certainties to our interlocutors!

1https://www.rainews.it/tgr/fvg/video/2020/08/fvg-polcenigo-coronavirus-p...

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