A military grade chemical manufactured by the Israel Institute for Biological Research and distributed by Tera Novel is being tested in mikvaot (ritual baths) in Bnei Brak, Israel. The disinfectant, is reported to be capable of killing 100% of bacteria, molds, fungi and viruses, such as the coronavirus. Israel Today reports that the chemical, which doesn’t seem to have a name, is used against anthrax.
The Israel Institute for Biological Research is a government run laboratory with a track record mired in scandalous testing of anti-anthrax chemicals on their subjects. From 1999-2005 under Operation ‘Omer 2,’ the institute tested anti-anthrax vaccines on IDF soldiers without informing them of the side effects. After those soldiers suffered respiratory illnesses and chronic skin disease, the government was forced to compensate them 21 million shekel in a class action law suit.
The chemical being used on the mikvaot was initially developed for and used by the IDF as well as Israel’s security forces. It was then transferred and used by the US army. It was stored in emergency warehouses until the need arises.
“Our disinfectant works in a very different way from many others,” Tera Novel chairperson Karen Cohen Khazon told The JPost. “We also use hypochlorite, but in a very high [concentration] and we add some [additional ingredients] so that anywhere the disinfectant is sprayed, it becomes a very white film of gel which keeps the [material] on the surface for a while.”
Cohen Khazon explained that it can be cleaned off with water or a towel. She also said that the chemical works well on walls, ceilings, floors, toilets, restrooms, spas, airport bathrooms. Interestingly, although it’s being used in mikvaot (ritual baths), there are no reports of it being used in regular swimming pools anywhere in Israel.
The company tested the chemical in Bnei Brak in an effort to incrementally ease the coronavirus restrictions in the city by spraying the disinfectant in its mikvaot.
Bnei Brak was among the worst hit cities by the pandemic. It was even declared a “restricted zone” in April and as its residents were banned from exiting the city lines in an attempt to contain the virus’ spread.
“They are very excited to bring the mikvaot back to societies, to go back to normal life,” Khazon told the Post. “We are very flattered and happy to be part of trying to bring society back to their routine in Bnei Brak, especially after the very tough time they had to go through.”
Tera Novel intends on testing the chemical in other publicly used institutions including “hospitals spas, mikvaot, [retirement homes] and others that are contaminated by nature,” Khazon added.
A pilot has already been launched in an Israeli hospital and will also test their product in a retirement homes soon.
“It’s an Israeli state-of-the-art technology to disinfect and terminate all the environmental infections and today, when we need to get rid of the coronavirus and other viruses, it’s very good that Israel and the Israel Biological Institute with Tera Novel could take this product and move it from defense and army and security development to civilian life,” Khazon told the Post.