CHICAGO, IL — A new preventive and remedial system that is applied to hard surfaces in a building, such as ductwork, walls, ceilings, and floors, or that can be incorporated as a part of these products during the manufacturing process, is said to have the ability to kill infectious agents and fungi on contact and inhibit their spread, while being safe for building occupants, according to an announcement from Alistagen Corporation and the Chelsea Group, Ltd.

"The potential benefits of Caliwel with Bi-Neutralizing Agent (BNA) from Alistagen Corporation are enormous in terms of saving lives and millions of dollars in property damage and health care costs. Caliwel also kills fungi and prevents mold growth at its source, including 'toxic' mold that has been the focus of recent media coverage and numerous lawsuits," said George Benda, chairman and ceo of the Chelsea Group.

Alistagen, New York, NY, is a biotechnology company engaged in the development of antimicrobial technology. Chelsea Group, headquartered near Chicago in Itasca, IL, provides technical and marketing consulting for indoor air quality (IAQ) related products and services. Chelsea is working with Alistagen to develop commercial applications for Caliwel with BNA.

Caliwel includes calcium hydroxide, a naturally occurring biocidal agent that has been used for centuries to help control the spread of disease, said Benda. What is new is BNA's ability to stabilize calcium hydroxide against natural carbonation, which occurs rapidly when the compound is exposed to ambient air and renders it ineffective against microbes.

This stabilization is achieved through the use of microencapsulating polymers, which bind the calcium hydroxide and keep it from degrading. Results of field tests show that Caliwel with BNA continues to be as effective six years later as it was the first month following its application, Benda stated.

The product can be sprayed, rolled, or coated on surfaces. It is particularly attractive for preventing mold growth on building materials that contain cellulose, a primary food source for mold, he said.

"The greatest positive impact is expected in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities that house vulnerable patients, along with schools and residences of the millions of people who have allergies, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses,” Benda said. “The BNA system also will have a significant impact on reducing property damage caused by mold infestation."

For more information, visit the Chelsea Group website at

Publication date: 04/08/2002