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Cruise veteran champions nontoxic Bioesque to disinfect/clean

Nontoxic, noncorrosive, food-surface safe
With a 30-year background in cruise ship operations, Mark Rumbarger is on a mission: To encourage sustainable, eco-friendly, nontoxic disinfectant/cleaning solutions.

Rumbarger represents Bioesque Solutions in Boca Raton, Florida, whose botanical products are powered by Thymox Technology. The active ingredient is thymol, a component of thyme oil.

Noncorrosive, food-surface safe

'It’s not only a disinfectant, but a powerful cleaner. It can literally be sprayed on anything on board a ship without any corrosiveness. It’s all food-surface safe,' Rumbarger said. Kill times for pathogens are rapid, he added.

Research shows Thymox has strong antimicrobial efficacy but is nontoxic and biodegradable. The US Environmental Protection Agency lists thyme oil as a minimal risk pesticide, and thymol is a 'generally recognized as safe' molecule used as a food additive (flavoring agent) in many countries. As a disinfectant, its mode of action is inducing instability in microorganisms’ membrane, causing cell content leakage and death.

Rumbarger noted Thymox is highly regarded in the remediation industry for cleanups from natural disasters. It also is used in hospitals, hotels, restaurants and schools. Many large US retailers sell it directly to commercial accounts.

'Modern way of addressing outbreak prevention'

'My mission is to get the cruise industry to embrace a modern way of addressing the outbreak prevention and control on board plus the sanitizing and cleaning of the vessel on a daily basis,' he said. Two European cruise brands and one large US-based cruise company have placed orders for Bioesque products, while others are testing them.

Rumbarger knows ships. He previously was senior director of hotel operations at Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. He also worked as a general manager at sea for Silversea Cruises, and had earlier experience in newbuild operations at American Classic Voyages, and in shipboard financial operations and administration at Royal Caribbean International and Carnival Cruise Line.

Industry is receptive

'Overall, the industry is receptive,' he said, adding that the coronavirus situation is shedding light on new solutions. 'I look at it as a possible re-do for them as they come out of a bad situation with an opportunity to address several of their [public] perception issues.'