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Why Fogging SHOULD NOT be used for Virus Control.

The ineffective method in the fight against Coronavirus.

 

Written by

 

Imre Killi

Inventor & CEO of MotorScrubber 

Coronavirus is on the rise again.

The world is going through a second lockdown. Will there be a 3rd or 4th? We cannot continue like this and we must all get on top of this pandemic. 

One important step forward is to STOP using Foggers, and to use better alternatives for surface disinfection / touch point disinfection.

I have received many documents from our global network, stating foggers are not recommended for disinfection in the USA

and Australia, to name a few.

One document was a letter from a US state council, trying to protect their local schools throughout the pandemic, warning them of the dangers of using fogging machinery for disinfection and strongly advising against purchasing.

We still see so many people using foggers for disinfection, so I wanted to bring together all of the information, along with scientific explanations, to why foggers are not recommended around the world for virus control and what we should be doing instead. "

See below links backing up these claims:

EPA ( Environmental Protection Agency USA )

https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/can-i-use-fogging-fumigation-or-electrostatic-spraying-or-drones-help-control-covid-19

Australia State of Victoria Disinfection advice

https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/covid-19-information-workplaces/industry-information/general-industry-information/cleaning#heading--23--tab-toc-what_is_disinfectant_fogging,_and_do_i_need_to_do_it

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MotorScrubber have been obsessed with disinfection, since the beginning of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Disinfection is a subject, I myself am very passionate about, and it disturbs me when I see videos of companies spraying foggers carelessly around, but what is even more disturbing is seeing manufacturers misleading customers with their advertising.

As an inventor from a UK Manufacturer of professional, cleaning equipment. I feel it is our duty to educate the market and invent solutions to help us out of the Coronavirus pandemic.

There is a huge difference between a fogger and a

Liquid Layer applicator

(MotorScrubber STORM®) 

" We tested many foggers during our product research phase, and found that the disinfectant did not settle on surfaces.

 

On many surfaces, the fogger left gaps between the droplets of disinfectant, due to an extended, uncontrolled spray distance.

 

Disinfectant drying too quickly was also another issue caused by fogging, meaning the the disinfectant contact/dwell time was not achieved.

Wet foggers are designed to be used with pesticides for treating insect issues. Insects are larger than viruses and move around, so will eventually come into contact with the chemical applied.

Viruses however, are tiny and do not move. This means one gap left between disinfectant droplets on a surface, is potentially leaving it at risk. A contact/dwell time of between 1 - 10 minutes is required to kill viruses, dependent on the chemical used. "

Now for the scientific part...

Spray Distance

When disinfecting surfaces, there are two parameters that must be met in order to effectively disinfect a surface.

1.

Perfect Liquid Layer of disinfectant applied - No Gaps.

2.

Surface must stay wet for the specified contact/dwell time of your chosen disinfectant.

1.

 

The first parameter is that a Perfect Liquid Layer of disinfectant must be applied with no gaps.

 

The reason being, one tiny gap left between droplets of disinfectant, could inhabit viruses and allow infection to spread.

A lot of money is spent on labour,

equipment and chemical during disinfection processes. Therefore, it is important the job is performed extremely thoroughly, otherwise the whole process is a waste of time, effort and money. 

If the spray distance is not controlled, the wider the droplets spread apart, when they hit the surface, allowing bigger gaps to form.

To create a Perfect Liquid Layer, the spray distance and speed of application must be controlled parameters, otherwise you risk creating gaps. Gaps = Risk.

Simply spraying a fogger around a room and hoping for the best is not a controlled, application method. Gaps will be left, with some areas being totally missed. It is an extremely careless method of disinfection. Additionally, spraying ceilings and walls is a waste of time, as nobody touches these areas. "

Below is our scientific evaluation. Starting with the pump flow rate and pressure, taking you through what happens as it is atomised from the nozzle, until it lands on the surface.

 

We optimised all of these parameters when creating our STORM® product. Allowing us to achieve a Perfect Liquid Layer of disinfectant, at a spray distance of 30cm, with no gaps and a sufficient contact/dwell time. This in turn delivers a more thorough and reliable, controlled disinfection process. "

2.

 

The second parameter is contact/dwell time.

 

We found from our fogger testing phase, that the disinfectant dried too quickly on the surface (often within 30 seconds) resulting in the contact/dwell time not being achieved.

 

Most disinfectants have a contact time ranging between 1 minute, up to 10 minutes. Surfaces must stay wet for this time, for the disinfectant to work and kill the virus. If it dries too quickly, there is a risk of not disinfecting the surface. 

Foggers spray extremely fine droplets (10 micron or less). This means the high speed air blows the droplets over surfaces, resulting in a reduced amount of droplets sticking to the surface with a quicker drying time. This is a major issue.

 

Equipment manufacturers advertise their machines to be sprayed 2 or 3 metres away from a surface and that the surface dries quickly. This is the complete opposite of what is required to efficiently disinfectant surfaces. "

High pressure air blown

into the disinfectant

Here's the science to why foggers are not effective, and that being the reason why two UK, leading disinfectant manufacturers we spoke to do not recommend their products to be used through foggers.

The issue is that foggers blow high speed air into the disinfectant, giving the tiny droplets huge momentum. 

The high speed air flows over the surface and takes the droplets with it, rather than them landing on the surface in controlled way.

During our product testing phases, in early 2020, we tested a variety of foggers. We used them as we saw companies using them on LinkedIn. We sprayed one of our office chairs from 1.5 metres away, then inspected the chair. The chair was dry, meaning disinfectant contact/dwell time was not achieved.

A good visual comparison is when the automotive industry test cars in wind tunnels, you can see that the fine particles do not touch the cars surface and are carried in the air flow "

As shown below

Inhalation Hazard & Micron Size

"  One of the topics discussed is the inhalation hazard, that comes with using foggers.

The issue is that the majority of disinfectants on the market are designed and certified for wet application, not fogging. Wet application can be thought of as droplets with a micron size between 60 - 150, similar to that produced by a trigger spray. These size droplets fall and land on the intended surface and do not linger in the air or pose an inhalation hazard, when risk assessment is performed. 

If using a fogger, the micron can be as low as 10 or less, meaning you're entering aerosol terrority.

Documents warn that these smaller droplets are inhaled deeper into the lungs, and stay in the air for much longer periods of time. 

The fogger application method is beyond the scope of most disinfectants and how they were certified.

We contacted some of the UK's, leading chemical manufacturers and they confirmed that they don't recommend using foggers for applying their disinfectants. If you are unsure about anything, we recommend you contact your chemical supplier for advice. "

In the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, many companies panicked and bought any equipment they could, including foggers...

 It is now time to upgrade to a more thorough disinfection process.

We specifically invented STORM® for fast, targeted disinfection of common touch points in the fight against Coronavirus. Now with the onboard, disposable M-Wipes System, you can apply a Perfect Liquid Layer of disinfectant to any surface and material.

STORM® has been a huge success with prestigious organisations, used all around the world in virus control procedures. "

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