In recent years, the standard of personal hygiene and sanitation has been raised. High traffic areas with objects touched by different people require more attention, which has increased the need for cleaner surfaces and more competent disinfection methods. Disinfectant spray-fog techniques for antimicrobial control in hospital rooms has been used. This technique of spraying of disinfectants is an unsatisfactory method of decontaminating air and surfaces and is not recommended for general infection control in routine patient-care areas. Disinfectant fogging is rarely, if ever, used in U.S. healthcare facilities for air and surface disinfection in patient-care areas. Methods (e.g., filtration, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, chlorine dioxide) to reduce air contamination in the healthcare setting are discussed in another guideline. Although this technology has been around for years, it has gained more attention recently due to the shift of higher sanitation requirements.
What is Disinfectant Fogging
Fogging, as the term suggests, uses disinfectant sprayed from a Fogging machine to create what looks like fog in the room. It is an effective way to disinfect high levels of horizontal surfaces, hard to reach areas that are often missed or forgotten and small, and confined spaces such as extractor units. It can also be effective at disinfecting vertical surfaces. Generally, Fogging should be viewed as an additional, belt and braces measure that is used following successful cleaning and disinfection practises. The technique should be regarded as the top-level measure for disinfection and should not be considered as a replacement for cleaning & disinfection practices.
How it works
The ULV Fogger (Ultra Low Volume) uses a liquid antimicrobial solution that is converted into a vapor. A fan then disperses the vapor to the desired areas. As more vapor is dispersed it develops into a thick mist or fog-like atmosphere, hence the name fogging. The fogging application will cover anything it comes in contact with: surfaces, floors, and hard-to-reach places that oftentimes go unnoticed. Disinfectant fogging also combats airborne pathogens as it passes through the air and lands on a surface. Once disinfection has been completed, all hard-surfaces are wiped down to remove excess solution. A recently disinfected home or business should be evacuated for at least six hours after being fogged.
The Benefits and Shortfalls of Disinfectant Fogging
Fogging provides the user with a range of benefits – some have been touched on but the full list includes:
- Fogging is seen as being safe and effective if carried out correctly.
- Effective at reducing air-bourne contaminants.
- Effective at disinfecting hard to reach areas.
- Highly effective at disinfecting horizontal surfaces.
BioHygiene’s surface sanitisers, which are suitable for Fogging, have proven effective on surface and demonstrated up to 5 log reductions after 5 minutes.
Despite its many benefits, fogging does have certain limitations:
- Fogging is only partially effective on vertical walls due to the presence of gravity, meaning the disinfectant will drip/fall.
- Fogging is not effective at disinfecting the undersides of horizontal surfaces.
- It has no impact on closed areas – electrical boxes etc.
- Electrical components can be damaged by the fog if not bagged up or removed from the area.
- Fogging is not a replacement for standard cleaning practises.
Until recently, Fogging has not generally been seen as suitable or necessary for the public sector. However, due to the Coronavirus outbreak this looks like it may begin to change. The general public and the government will use any measure possible to prevent a second wave and the Fogging of public sector areas and public transport could give extra piece of mind to everyone; as well as preventing the virus from contaminating surfaces.
Sunday, May 9, 2021
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