Edward Smith">

Pastor Jim Franklin announced to his congregation — both in-person and virtually — the employment of dry hydrogen peroxide to allow safe gathering inside Cornerstone Church. Photo by Edward Smith

published on March 10, 2021 - 2:59 PM
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One Fresno pastor believes he has a found a way to safely assemble after installing technology that could mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

Cornerstone Church in Downtown Fresno recently installed filters emitting dry hydrogen peroxide into the air. The company that makes the system, Synexis, said it eliminates viruses similar to coronavirus.

The technology has been installed for the past two weeks.

Pastor Jim Franklin announced to his congregation — both in-person and virtually — the employment of dry hydrogen peroxide to allow safe gathering inside the Downtown Fresno church.

Franklin said members of the congregation were thrilled to hear about the six new units installed in the Wilson Theater.

Elderly parishioners as well as those with health issues had concerns about coming to church, even though they had wanted to come, Franklin said.

“They just need that little extra bit of confidence knowing this environment and understanding the technology behind it,” Franklin said.

Franklin said he found out about dry hydrogen peroxide (DHP) last month.

Synexis claims that DHP eliminates numerous viruses, bacteria, molds, fungi, yeast and even insects.

Kansas State University installed the sphere-like devices in dormitories in September 2020, according to an article by KNST, an NBC affiliate. Officials with the University said they were using DHP primarily to treat black mold.

The technology is also used at Dodger Stadium.

The spherical devices are about the size of a personal fan and each one covers approximately 1,500 square feet of space. It fills a room with DHP below the threshold mandated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said Lance Cardoza, an authorized retailer for Synexis.

It runs continuously and filters are replaced every 90 days.

The company says it safe for offices as well as indoor public gathering areas. Steven Rhodes, environmental health division manager with the Fresno County Department of Public Health said DHP used in accordance with the label directions is not an issue.

Tests have shown effectiveness of DHP against bacteria and viruses including influenza, norovirus and viruses similar to coronavirus as well.

An article published in the American Journal of Infection Control concluded that DHP was effective in reducing microbial surface contamination.

The company touts DHP’s ability to sanitize in the air as well.

The church is still encouraging social distancing, and while they encourage mask-wearing, it is not required, said Franklin.

“Cornerstone Church believes that churches are essential and we believe this technology will give people the level of confidence in returning to houses of worship,” Franklin said.

Cornerstone Church has been holding services in person since May 2020.

Edited: This story was changed to reflect that OSHA mandates the safe level of DHP and that one device covers 1,500 square feet of space.

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