Lines of shopping carts rest only a few steps from the front entrance of supermarkets and department stores. Customers maneuver them from aisle to aisle, and by the time theyve finished, shoppers have left more than just their fingerprints behind.
At the ETSU Innovation Laboratory, carts containing hidden viruses, pathogens, and other common germs enter one of the labs. Seconds later, they come out germ free.
Inside that room is the Germ Terminator, a new shopping cart sanitation system developed by Fleet Cleaning Supply, a company based in Jonesborough.
Though it is referred to as a system, the actual device occupies only 4×6 feet of floor space.
One might say it is similar to a small car wash, but the Germ Terminator doesnt use water, soap, or other chemicals. Instead, it has four ultraviolet fixtures with a total of eight UV bulbs that do all the work.
Paul Stamm, chief financial officer for Fleet Cleaning Supply, describes the sanitation process as simple.
After the carts are gathered together, they are pushed through the Germ Terminator and expelled through a set of self-closing doors and are then ready for customer access.
The unit provides the user with a germ-free cart in a matter of seconds, said Fleet Chief Executive Officer Danny Glenn. This green technology has no effect on environmental conditions.
During the development phase of the device, faculty members from East Tennessee State Universitys Department of Environmental Health tested and certified the carts and determined that the Germ Terminator kills 99.9 percent of all pathogens, viruses, molds, yeast, and algae.
The Germ Terminator is available for purchase, and a patent is pending. For more information, contact Fleet Cleaning Supply at (423) 753-4096 or 956-3450.