Along with the secrets to losing weight onboard while still stuffing yourself at the buffet and a surefire way to attain a free cabin upgrade, many cruisers are also searching for the Holy Grail of norovirus protection. From obsessive hand washing to investing in all sorts of hand sanitizers, Cruise Critic members have likely tried it all. Now we’ve been alerted to a new product that claims to kill norovirus for hours. Is it the solution we’ve been seeking?
Zylast is a new product by Innovative BioDefense that comes in the form of hand sanitizers, moisturizing lotions and foaming hand cleansers. We spoke with the company’s scientific and regulatory consultant Steven E. Czerwinski as well as company CEO Colette Cozean, who claim Zylast has three benefits its competitors (Purell, et al.) don’t:
It contains Benzethonium Chloride (BZT), which can kill bacteria and viruses — unlike the standard alcohol-based sanitizer that just gets rid of bacteria. Cozean cites National Institutes of Health toxicology reports stating BZT is not toxic.
It has been formulated for “persistence” and has been proven to kill germs up to four hours, at 90 percent efficacy or better, even with repeated hand washing. Most hand sanitizers evaporate after 15 seconds, Czerwinski says.
It contains emollients to moisturize and provide skin protection, so your hands don’t get dried out from using the product.
The two said that in tests, Zylast has killed 99.9 percent of norovirus germs immediately and is still killing 97 percent after an hour. (Cozean assured us the tests are conducted by seven independent labs.) The company is testing it at six hours after application. It claims no other product on the market is FDA-approved to kill germs so long after initial use.
The company is working to get aboard cruise ships, and its products will be found in the medical centers of Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean ships come fall. If the cruise lines like them, you might find them as the sanitizer of choice in gangway and dining room sanitizer dispensers.
Skeptical? Intrigued? Try the products yourself. We have three Zylast gift packs to give away to anyone who is subscribed to the Lido Deck Blog as of 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28. We’ll pick the winners at random and reach out to them Friday at 5 p.m EDT. The winners have 72 hours to claim their prizes. Unclaimed prizes will be added to the Lido Deck prize pool, Powerball-style. (Note: Future prize lots will be divided, if necessary, at our discretion.)
Gift packs include antiseptic gel, antiseptic lotion and antiseptic foaming soap. (If you don’t win, you can always order the lotions and sanitizers online.)
And if you’ve found a great way to protect yourself against Norovirus, by all means, let us know. After you wash your hands, of course.
Sign up for your own Lido Deck subscription.
Learn all about the norovirus with our stay-healthy guide.