Due to covid-19, many companies have had to revisit current policies and seek new strategies that allow them to continue working safely, whilst maintaining the safety of their customers. Many local authorities and businesses have turned to a process called fogging to ensure the safety and protection of their patrons.
Although fogging or misting has been a process used for some time to treat mould and fungi, it’s popularity in sanitising large public spaces has increased since the pandemic’s arrival.
Google Trends data showing search volume for ‘Fogging machine’ over the past 5 years. Popularity is beginning to spike since April 2020.
What is a fogging machine or chemical fogging?
The fogging process creates a fine mist which can be used as an effective method for distributing disinfectant over large areas.
The mist created by the fogging device contains biocide particles, which can stay in the air longer to kill viruses and bacteria , making it very effective at reducing air‐borne contaminants. Fogging can also be used to kill pathogens on furniture, door handles, floors, ceilings, walls and other touchpoints or surfaces.
The fogging process can reach places that are difficult to clean or disinfect with other methods. The sanitising mist can reach high ledges, equipment tops, into crevices and corners that are usually limited to other cleaning methods. A core advantage is that you will not need to move furniture or objects during the disinfection process, nor use ladders to get up high.
Thanks to its fine, quick-drying mist, fogging is safe to use on practically all surfaces including glass, metal, fabric and plastic.
Fogging / Misting and its effectiveness in killing the new coronavirus
Coronavirus has changed the lives of the whole world, and to avoid its spread, hygiene and distancing measures must be followed. As time passes and the world approaches a new normal, government organisations look for effective safety practices to ensure the safety of the public.
The safety, cleaning, and protection plans of all workers within all industries must be reviewed to prevent the virus’s spread. Consistent sterilisation of public spaces is imperative for post-pandemic recovery.
Fogging is rapidly becoming more widely adopted as part of a regular sterilisation routine. However, fogging is only as effective as the solution applied. Fogging with water alone will have no effect on neutralising the area. In the UK, we recommend only using fogging solutions which have been independently tested to conform to BS EN standards and have the required virucidal activity.
Any sanitising solution that is going to be used for fogging purposes, needs to meet the requirements of EN 14476 and should have been performed with vaccinia virus for enveloped viruses. The other viruses in this test method are Polio, Adenovirus and Murine norovirus. If all three viruses have been tested and a pass achieved, then the product is virucidal and will be a far more effective product with a broader spectrum.
When combined with a commercial grade fogging machine, this method of surface disinfection is highly effective and safe for disinfecting schools, restaurants, public spaces, aeroplanes, businesses, hospitality, shops, and many more.
When fogging we highly recommend using Victor Sanitiser Mist Solution. This ready to use fogging solution has been formulated to provide a broad spectrum activity against gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, yeasts, fungi and enveloped viruses. In addition to this, it meets the requirements of EN1276, EN1650, EN13697 and EN14476.
Fogging and its effectiveness against coronavirus and germs
With the pandemic’s arrival, the whole world is battling a bacteriological war. Now people are more aware of these problems and seek to better clean all surfaces.
Fogging or chemical fogging has been around for many years to disinfect public or private areas and spaces. It was considered a specialised and inexpensive alternative cleaning method used in hospitals, restaurants, clean rooms, etc.
The pandemic has made everyone more aware of the risks that are everywhere. That is, touching a surface and touching your face can bring many diseases or viruses to your body. Fogging processes, although was once more commonly used to sanitise hospitals, have now moved to be more commonplace in office spaces, canteens, kitchens, classrooms, corridors, stairwells, surgeries and waiting rooms. They are increasingly common in shopping centres and restaurants to prevent the new coronavirus spread. Employers are in charge of avoiding this type of contagion between their employees and their clients, so it is so important that they have a qualified cleaning regime.
After months of the appearance of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, people already know that they have to have better hygiene and that the virus can survive on surfaces. Experts have stated that the virus can continue on hard plastic or metal surfaces for up to 48 hours, depending on the temperature.
This virus can be inactivated correctly and effectively if people use a suitable and qualified sanitisation system. For this reason, many companies have taken the initiative to use a fogging process to reduce the transmission of the virus.
Schools, airports, universities, train stations, and local authorities must be responsible and take care of users, students, and employees. All facilities must be disinfected so that others can touch them without problem and risk of contagion.
How to Choose a Fogging Machine for Covid-19
There is a lot of choices when it comes to fogging machines. Thanks to an increase in demand for the process, the market has been flooded with various options.
One of the most important factors to consider is the mist droplet size or the Micron size. If the droplets are too large, the mist won’t be fine enough to dry quickly, and gaps within the mist won’t create even or total coverage.
The Mist Pro 360 has a very small droplet size (15-30 microns) which is dispersed in a turbulent motion. This extra fine mist ensures total coverage.
If you need a fogging machine for a commercial setting, be sure to commit to a fogger which has a robust, commercial build. It’s likely the fogging machine will be in use for several hours per day, so you’ll need a solution which stands the test of time.
There are 2 main types of Fogging machine tanks – Fogging machines where the operator holds the entire unit or foggers where the operator holds the lance and the tank remains on the floor.
Holding the entire unit including even a 3ltr tank can cause fatigue rapidly in the operator. When we were designing the Mist Pro 360, we wanted to make it as easy to use, lightweight and as robust as possible. This is why the large 7ltr tank remains on the floor, and the operator only holds the lance whilst misting.
Is the fogging or misting process safe?
Providing an adequate risk assessment is in place, and a suitable sanitising solution is used in the fogging device, fogging is a safe and effective sanitising procedure.
Even if the sanitising solution has been classed as safe and non-toxic, it should always be applied in areas that are clear of people to avoid allergic reactions. Spray fogging is ideally suited to the outside of working hours to guarantee safety. You should make sure to use an antimicrobial that is water-based so that it is harmless to the environment, not dangerous, and not corrosive.
Adequate PPE should be worn at all times when operating a fogging machine. Suggested personal protective equipment to be worn when fogging includes, Overalls, facemask, protective eyewear and gloves.
How efficient is fogging?
Fogging sterilises areas by coating surfaces with a fine microbial layer. By using a qualified and efficient product, it can be effective longer. By applying disinfectant finely, less can be used to achieve the same desired effects as manual application. This makes fogging a very cost-effective method for sterilising almost any facility.
Are there any drawbacks to using fogging?
Although it is a very effective sanitising system, it is not 100% miraculous. Fogging is not designed to replace an effective cleaning schedule, but instead designed to disinfect and sanitise an already clean surface.
Before the fogging, a deep cleaning process should be carried out to ensure the safety of the area. If there is still dust, dirt, or wet parts, the mist will not contact the surface, and it will not have total disinfection.
The Mist Pro 360
At Victor we have a long history of making mighty cleaning machines. The Mist Pro 360 is the result of months of research and development. We wanted to create fogging that met the needs of our customers and add value to the marketplace.
Key Features of the Mist Pro 360 Fogging Machine
- Extra Fine Mist (15-30 Microns) to ensure total and even coverage.
- Proprietary nozzle design disperses solution in a turbulent motion.
- 7ltr tank for extended use and long runtimes without refilling.
- Lightweight design – Operator only carries the lance rather than heavy solution tank.
- Robust commercial design with stainless steel housing
- 3 Piece extension nozzle to sanitise a range of areas from short – long range.
- RTU Ready to use solution for simple refilling.
If you’d to learn more about the Mist Pro 360 or see a remote video demonstration, email us at: [email protected]