The Truth Behind Fogging and Misting Disinfection Tools
Cleaning companies looking for a quick payday off of you love to advertise their services with general, hard to verify buzzwords. As a Facility Manager you’ve probably seen your fair share of “green cleaning,” “scientifically-backed techniques,” and “state-of-the-art disinfection products.” Sure, a company can actually have an effective green cleaning program or use scientifically backed techniques, but these can also be empty words with little to no real meaning to them.
The latest in this long line of potentially dubious claims is fogging and misting disinfection. The concept of fogging is a snake oil solution to disinfection designed to prey on companies who are concerned about the health and safety of their staff and patrons amidst the coronavirus endemic. Fogging is not approved by the EPA but that isn’t stopping companies from charging thousands of dollars to walk in a facility and simply turn a machine on to spray a chemical in the air with almost a 100% profit margin. They create theatrics by walking in wearing chemical suits and respirators but end up doing a disservice to those who think that their facility is really being disinfected. Don’t take our word for it, however, companies offering this “service” are such a concern that the EPA addressed it directly:
To quote the Environmental Protection Agency: “we are concerned that fogging/misting products may not be as effective as claimed”. Not only does fogging reduce particle size, it changes surface coverage characteristics drastically reducing the efficacy of the cleaning solution. Further, fogging and misting are incapable of providing the same amount of active ingredient on a given surface; claiming that a fogging machine provides the same level of disinfection as other industry proven techniques is at best disingenuous. You should be wary of any company claiming that fogging is a miracle solution to surface cleaning and disinfection.
Long Lasting Surface Cleaners Are a Myth
Unsurprisingly, the fogging machine theatrics aren’t alone. Subpar disinfection services love to offer chemical cleaners that will “protect surfaces for an extended period of time”. These companies are ripping off customers by making claims that they can spray a chemical on a surface to magically protect it against harmful microorganisms for an extended amount of time. Why disinfect regularly when you could do it once and be done? Turns out this, like everything that seems too good to be true, is a wild distortion of the truth. According to the EPA, antimicrobial disinfectants are built to help inhibit bacterial growth, not to protect the users against bacteria, viruses, germs and other diseases causing organisms. Further, making claims like “fights germs, provides antibacterial protection or controls fungus” are not based on scientific evidence and are against EPA labeling requirements. In fact, FIFRA actively takes actions against companies that make illegal claims about their cleaning products. Protect your building from con-companies and steer away from anyone offering “self-sanitizing cleaners” or “surface protectors”.
Work with Professionals, not Con-Men
You're probably wondering what a professional disinfecting service should be doing to properly clean and protect your facility. Fortunately, the CDC has provided a detailed outline of what constitutes proper cleaning and disinfection. Here are a couple of important points that they make:
- Disinfection is only effective after a surface has been cleaned. Bacteria and other microorganisms are often protected by dirt and therefore it is necessary to remove visible dirt and grime before disinfecting, not after.
- There is a difference between disinfection and sterilization. Disinfection destroys most pathogens, sterilization destroys all pathogens. Most cleaning services aren’t capable of offering a sterilization service.
- There are three different classes of disinfectant: high, medium and low. While high level disinfectants aren’t for environmental use, whether or not your cleaning company uses medium or low level disinfectants determines if pathogens like Tuberculosis are being killed or not.
- Carpeting and cloth furnishings are harder to keep clean than nonporous, hard-surface flooring, and cannot be reliably disinfected, as such, they pose a larger risk than other surfaces in your building.
Companies that make claims that go against guidelines laid out by the CDC are not only trying to scam you, but are putting your facility in danger by not following proper disinfection techniques and leading staff and patrons to believe that surfaces are safer than they are. The bottom line is there are no magic bullets to getting your facility properly cleaned and disinfected. Don’t let a con-man do a professional’s job, partner with a company that understands industry proven processes and uses up-to-date EPA and CDC recommendations to inform their cleaning and disinfection.
Get Professional Disinfection Services & Peace of Mind
In the midst of a global pandemic isn’t the time to risk your reputation or the health and safety of your building’s occupants with subpar disinfection services. What you need are effective professional disinfection services of all large areas and small. For essential business owners, your first priority is the protection of your staff and customers. Here at Stathakis we have a long-standing reputation of excellence and going above and beyond what is.
Not only are we an ISSA CIMS-GB certified company, we’ve adopted and implemented CDC guidelines to make our service as effective as is currently possible against the Coronavirus. We utilize personal protective equipment for the safety and health of our teams and your people. Protecting yourself and your staff starts with using a commercial disinfection service that is committed to your health and safety. For more information on how we can help you assure the health and safety of your facility and your peace of mind, contact us at 1-800-278-1884.