In the midst of a pandemic, firm offers a breath of fresh air

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Randy Schwark, left, and Linda Callahan work as chief executive officer and director of sales, respectively, of RCI Environmental Solutions. The Grand Junction firm offers air purification systems that control viruses and bacteria to create healthier work and home environments. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

While businesses can wipe down surfaces to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Randy Schwark offers what he considers a better approach: kill the virus in the air.

Schwark operates RCI Environmental Solutions, a Grand Junction-based company that provides systems that have demonstrated in laboratory testing they can to do just that. 

The systems also kill other viruses and bacteria as well as reduce allergy symptoms and odors. The systems come in a variety of sizes and configurations for businesses as well as homes.

Businesses see a return on their investments in reducing employee sickness and absenteeism or, in the case of child care or senior living facilities, promoting the health of those who use the facilities, Schwark says. “The ROI comes rather quickly.”

RCI Environmental Solutions serves as a supplier for ActiveTek Environmental, which manufactures ActivePure systems.

The Aerus Pure & Clean portable model was tested at a biosafety level 4 laboratory using U.S. Food and Drug Administration protocols. The system was tested on live COVID-19 and killed 99.96 percent of airborne virus within three minutes.

ActivePure systems combine an ultraviolet light with a specially coated matrix to produce hydroperoxides and negatively charged ions to kill viruses and bacteria as well as remove particles in the air, Schwark said. 

The same technology is used to scrub air in the International Space Station.

Different systems accommodate different settings and uses, Schwark said. Systems can be installed in heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems. Portable models also are available, as are even smaller models that plug directly into a wall socket. 

Some systems can treat up to 15,000 square feet, others 3,000 square and some a single room, he said.

While the ultraviolet lights must be replaced annually, the overall maintenance cost of the systems remains low at about
4 cents a square foot a year, Schwark said. The electricity required to power the systems is nearly negligible.

Schwark said he’s provided systems over the years to a variety of customers in the Grand Valley, including child care and senior living facilities, retail outlets and doctor and dentist offices. Mesa County School District 51 also has used systems in various schools.

The anecdotal evidence Schwark said he’s collected from customer testimonials indicate the systems work in reducing illness as well as allergy symptoms and odors. “I don’t believe I have one unhappy customer.”

Linda Callahan said she joined RCI Environmental Solutions in January as sales director and was immediately impressed with the systems. “I fully believe in this.”

The use of the systems take on added importance, though, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and protecting employees, customers — as well as family members — from a potentially deadly disease, Schwark said.

Unlike other disinfecting techniques, ActivePure systems kill COVID-19 on an ongoing basis, he said.

Moreover, the ActivePure systems are different than other air filtration systems, he added. “Filters catch, this kills.”

For more information about RCI Environmental Solutions, including a webinar, contact Randy Schwark at 628-5046 or Linda Callahan at (773) 266-0405 or visit