Are you confused as to the difference between foggers, electrostatic sprayers and electro-hygiene atomizers when it comes to disinfecting? You're not alone.
As numerous businesses —airlines to hospitality to fitness and office facilities—adjust their cleaning and disinfecting procedures due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the numbers and types of new cleaning innovations are beginning to swell. With any new or emerging technology, there are plenty of questions and confusion about what’s what, what should be used where and what do you really need?
Three systems that are commonly mixed up are foggers, electrostatic sprayers, and electro-hygiene atomizing systems. Let’s take a look at each of them, and help answer the question, What is the difference between fogging or misting, electrostatic spraying and electro-hygiene?
Foggers: Best left for agriculture
Most commonly seen for pest control and crop protection applications, fogging systems deliver very small droplets that passively deposit on surfaces based on the direction of spray and the effect of gravity (which may result in uneven coverage). However, there are a few fogging cleaning systems available on the market—specific types of sprayers are labeled "foggers"—and any spray technology that reduces the droplet size of a liquid can be deemed a fogger. It’s important to note that foggers should not be used to disinfect and have been deemed ineffective by recent CDC and EPA guidance. Bottom line: we don't recommend foggers!
Electrostatic Sprayers: 360 degrees of protection
Electrostatic sprayer systems deliver electrically-charged disinfecting droplets that are actively attracted to surfaces, including the back, sides and crevices of objects, regardless of the direction of spray for wrap-around disinfection coverage. Completely touchless, electrostatic sprayers are a quick and efficient means to completely disinfect a space efficiently and effectively. They can disinfect surfaces that can’t always be reached with traditional spray and wipe methods in a fraction of the time. They’re an emerging system that many industries are widely adopting for use in their new and improved disinfecting protocols. We’re proud to supply EarthSafe's EvaClean Infection Prevention Solution system, which combines a Protexus sprayer or backpack with EPA-approved PURTABS to kill SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Electro-Hygiene Atomizers: The next level of disinfection
Electro-hygiene backpack atomizers are different from electrostatic sprayer systems in that they do not electrically charge the solution. The technology in electro-hygiene atomizers utilizes ULV (Ultra Low Volume) cold atomizing, which attains the same end result as electrostatic systems, but with a more high production and high capacity unit, killing 99.99% of any pathogen, including SARS-CoV-2.
In addition, ULV atomizing can be adjusted to allow for an optimal droplet size based on the surface that is being disinfected. For example, if disinfecting various surfaces in a commercial space, a trained technician will adjust the droplet size for maximum dwell time and efficacy. Restroom surfaces may require a larger Micron size of 50uM, whereas spraying on glass or a copier machine may be a small Micron size that averages 30uM.
This process is highly specialized and was originally developed for GMP (good manufacturing process) environments—healthcare, food processing and biotech clean rooms. The technicians and the technology used to execute this process are highly technical and require extensive training, PPE protocols and mobility.
One other area of distinction: electro-hygiene units are agnostic when it comes to the disinfecting solution that an applicator chooses to use. Unlike other types of disinfecting sprayers, they allow the user to apply their choice of EPA registered disinfectant, offering maximum versatility.
We hope that’s cleared up any confusion on foggers, electrostatic sprayers and electro-hygiene atomizers. Whatever system you choose to advance your disinfecting program, whether it's an electrostatic sprayer or electro-hygiene atomizer, we’re here to help you keep your spaces safe, clean and sanitary. Investing in the right systems now will certainly evolve your cleaning and disinfecting operations to the new normal in light of the Coronavirus.
For more information on products that kill COVID-19, check out our post on dwell times (which is an oft-overlooked but important step in eliminating the virus on surfaces).