Disinfectant Fogging-why it may be doing more harm than good
What is disinfectant fogging? In a nutshell it is placing a disinfectant chemical into a fogging machine and fogging interior areas, in theory, to control or eliminate pathogens on surfaces. The type of machine varies greatly and all have their positives and negatives, all are also expensive.
I am sure you all have seen the ads on social media these days, it is everywhere, construction companies, pest control companies, even saw an ad recently for a plumbing company offering this service. I don’t want to knock anyone for their hustle, but they may actually be doing more harm than good. Anyone can buy a fogger and disinfectant, so it must not be too hard right?
Operating the machine isn’t too hard at all, even a kid can do it, the danger lies in several places:
*not following proper risk assessment
*not following proper training protocols
*not following cleaning protocols
*not following use of PPE
*companies not trained or certified for infection control
*State of GA requires a license to perform this service
Couple of things here that are important to know;
*fogging without cleaning the surface first is futile
*disinfectants kill organisms, that is what they are designed to do. These chemicals are harmful to pets and humans. There are safer options out there, but always ask what chemical they are using and research yourself.
*will the chemical damage surfaces? some chemicals can damage certain surfaces
*all disinfectants have a dwell time, this is the time the chemical must stay wet on the surface in order to eliminate the specific pathogen on the surface. Different chemicals target different pathogens, dwell time can range from 30 seconds to 10 minutes or more.
* as soon as someone comes in after fogging the area is potentially contaminated 🙁
What about disinfecting products that claim to form a barrier that will kill the germs for several days or longer? The most commonly known consumer product similar is Microban. These products are normally manufactured with a polymer that bonds with the surface. I have seen one recently that claims to continue to kill germs for up to 30 days after applying! Now that is astounding stuff right there. ** UPDATE: Due to the coronavirus companies have developed disinfectants that have the potential to continue working on surfaces for up to 90 days. Monofoil M is just one of these types of chemicals. We have had the pleasure of using this product successfully with great results and highly recommend it.
So how do you know if the fogging service or the use of products with claims like Microban has eliminated the pathogens? You really don’t since we can’t see microscopic pathogens with our eyes. Bummer right?
Some organizations will use an ATP meter to test the surface, these meters only test the cleanliness, not organisms. Bummer again. The only truly scientific way to know if the disinfectant fogging has done it’s job is to swab the surface and send off to a lab that will c process the samples. Wonder how long that would take these days?
I am a firm believer that spraying does serve a purpose in certain circumstances, such as an active confirmed case of infection.
Squeaky Clean Inc will be finishing up (one part is finished) their certification and training on infection control with GBAC within 2 days, meaning we will have an infection control cleaning specialist on staff. This specialist is in the process of obtaining the correct licenses and will be ready to implement the use of disinfectant fogging and general cleaning the healthy correct right way. **UPDATE: Squeaky Clean has done all the hard work and training to earn our certificate specific to cleaning for Covid 19. We have also earned our certification specific to fogging/spraying with electrostatic fogging machines through GBAC.
We have purchased many sprayers/foggers in the fight against Covid, the only one that has stood mountains above the rest is the one pictured below. This electrostatic fogger covers evenly without drips and spills and is easy to operate with a little training.
Interested in knowing if a fogging service is right for you? Contact us at 770 468 9475, we will be happy to help out in any way we can. We help keep our area homes and office free of Covid 19.
Electrostatic spraying is actually more affordable than you think and is safe for your home, office, or car.