Singapore—The Changi Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of the Changi Airport Group (CAG), has donated a powerful disinfectant that has been applied to all 1.5 million HDB lift buttons in Singapore. The disinfectant, called sdst, is effective for 90 days.
According to a statement from Changi Foundation on April 2, 650 liters of the self-disinfecting coating was donated to the 16 town councils across Singapore. It has been used as a coating for surfaces in Changi Airport that are frequently used.
The statement adds that the coating has now been used on around 1.5 million lift buttons in 26,000 HDB elevators around the country.
The substance is both safe and eco-friendly, and serves as protection against viruses, bacteria and fungi, and retains its effectiveness even without reapplication.
Town councils had teams of two to three people apply the substance to all of the buttons in lifts and lift lobbies after CAG arranged for the training of cleaning supervisors from each town council on how to apply the substance properly.
The substance, which has been approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, is a broad-spectrum coating made up of a modified ammonium compound. Sdst has a self-disinfecting function that copies antimicrobial compounds that eliminate germs upon contact.
Here is why the coating is so effective: “Firstly, it has a needle-like structure that ruptures the outer membrane of viruses, bacteria and fungi, thereby reducing their ability to infect. Secondly, proprietary bonding agents in the coating allow it to adhere tightly to surfaces at a molecular level, such that even with repeated scrubbing and cleaning, the coating does not leach and remains effective for as long as three-months. It is safe on human skin.”
Sdst started being used in Changi Airport in February as part of the initiative to curb the spread of Covid-19, along with increased cleaning and disinfecting.
“We trialed the sdst coating in some areas of Changi Airport last year as one of our innovation projects. We found it to be effective in providing longer-lasting protection on frequently touched surfaces. Hence, when Covid-19 hit, we decided to apply sdst airport-wide to better protect passengers, visitors and staff at Changi Airport,” said Jayson Goh, Managing Director of Airport Operations Management, CAG.
The Coordinating Chairman of PAP Town Councils, Dr Teo Ho Pin, warned against using sharp objects such as keys for pressing lift buttons as this could remove the coating.
Cheng Li Hui, MP for Tampines GRC (Tampines East), wrote about the disinfectant coating on lift buttons in a Facebook post on April 2, saying that she “did a reading of a lift button coated 2 weeks ago and got a microbial swab test result of 11.”
Since all HDB lifts have been coated, I took the reading at our CC lift before application.
According to the Ministry of Health, results under 250 are acceptable.
Ms Cheng added, “This is under trial and we will continue to monitor the lifts’ buttons readings to ensure that the results are acceptable.”
She also posted a reminder to not use sharp objects such as keys in pressing lift buttons, as this would damage the coating. —/TISG