Disinfecting has become an essential aspect of our everyday lives in the covid 19 pandemic season. One of the control measures that has been the topic of discussion is fogging. So what exactly is fogging, and what are the safety precautions for using foggers? Fogging uses a fogging machine to spray disinfectants into a room by releasing a fog or a mist.
When using a fogger, adequate ventilation is necessary because the chemicals can stay suspended in the air for longer if there is insufficient air movement. A disinfectant fogger gets rid of any contaminants and germs on a surface after a thorough cleaning. It provides a feasible solution to disinfecting high horizontal areas, confined spaces, and the hard-to-reach regions often missed during cleaning.
Ideally, fogging is viewed as an extra measure after a thorough cleaning and disinfection practice. It is the top-level disinfection measure and should not be considered a substitute for other cleaning and disinfection practices. Also, fogging is not ideal for disinfecting closed areas like electrical control panels, and it has minimal impact on downward-facing horizontal surfaces.
Vertical surfaces only receive little contact with the disinfectant fog due to the weight of the solution that causes a downward fall. But many trials by electrostatic fogging manufacturers have been in place to electrically charge the disinfectant droplets and prevent them from falling.
Benefits of fogging
- It is safe if carried out by a professional in the proper manner.
- It helps reduce air-borne contaminants.
- Helps to disinfect hard-to-reach areas.
- It is very effective in disinfecting horizontal surfaces.
Limitations of fogging
- Fogging has little impact on vertical surfaces due to gravity that causes the disinfectant to drop or fall.
- It is not effective in disinfecting the underside of horizontal areas.
- It is not a substitute for cleaning and disinfecting practices.
- It doesn’t work in closed areas.
- Fog can damage electrical components.
Precaution measures for fogging
Foggers and other machines such as vaporizers and electrostatic sprayers aerosolize chemical disinfectants and suspend them in the air. That can irritate the airways, nose, and eyes or cause other health issues if you breathe the air in. CDC restricts the use of foggers for disinfecting community spaces, and they should be used with extreme caution.
Foggers should be used under the following conditions:
- Only a trained professional should use a fogger.
- Only the approved disinfectants should be used.
- Fogging should be implemented depending on the manufacturer’s instructions for use, safety, and contact time.
- The professional should wear appropriate PPE and practice other safety measures to ensure their safety, the safety of the people who use the room afterward, and others nearby.
- Fogging should take place in an unoccupied room.
- It should be carried out with more caution around food prepping areas or where children play.
- The person should leave the room after application for the time indicated on the manufacturer’s label.
- The area should be well ventilated.
- The chemical residue on surfaces should be wiped before the others enter the room after the contact time is achieved.
- People with asthma and children are more vulnerable to certain disinfecting chemicals.
Anyone using fogging disinfectants should understand the safety precautions and risks before use to protect themselves and others.