Facility managers are increasingly re-evaluating their cleaning services and preventative measures to limit the spread of viruses and pathogens.
Infection prevention involves making germs, droplets, and harmful particles the target of disinfection services to avoid illnesses.
A popular cleaning method and infection control strategy is electrostatic disinfection.
What does electrostatic disinfection refer to?
This form of chemical sanitation uses an electrostatic sprayer to provide uniform coverage that reaches crevices, backsides, and undersides of surfaces, tools, and equipment.
One of the key benefits of electrostatic disinfection is the ability to disinfect hard-to-reach areas.
The rising star of the disinfection industry
By 2025, the market for electrostatic disinfecting services is expected to reach $1.9 billion.
Are you still considering whether this type of disinfection is worth the hype or not?
If the answer is yes, then keep on reading, as this article summarized all the important facts every business owner and facility manager should know.
Bacteria Can Survive 12 Hours on a Surface
Bacteria are very tiny single-celled organisms that lack a specific nucleus. Virtually all environments contain such cells, many of which are not harmful, especially in foods like yogurt or cheese.
Many different forms of harmful bacteria also exist.
For example, salmonella causes food-related illnesses and remains active on surfaces for up to four hours.
Others such as Norovirus have been detected on hard surfaces for several days.
Staph bacteria (MRSA) may remain for days or weeks on certain hard surfaces, prompting hospitals to regularly clean and disinfect.
An Electrostatic Disinfecting Machine Destroys Over 99.9% Of Bacteria Within Two Minutes
Electrostatic disinfection has proven to be more effective than most manual methods of cleaning, which are generally also more time-consuming.
For example, cleaning large open spaces such as theaters or classrooms using a manual cleaning method is slow and tedious.
Aside from saving time, electrostatic disinfection is comparatively more effective when there is minimal precleaning of the surfaces.
If appropriate products are applied using the best practices of electrostatic disinfection, 99.9% of mold, and viruses such as Covid, will be eliminated in 60 seconds.
No Chemicals and Bacteria Are Left Behind
Electrostatic sprayers apply a positive charge to liquids used in the disinfection process, which engage surfaces with a negative charge.
The EPA and other sources indicate that this process involving electrical charges has proven effective against influenza (flu) and others.
The majority of liquid products used in electrostatic sprayers dry completely, leaving no residue. The process kills the bacteria and is harmless to the human body because no chemicals are left behind.
Fact and Fiction About Cross Infection
Cross infection refers to a process where any virus and other harmful organisms are transferred through touch.
The spread might occur between people, such as hospital patients, or objects. For this reason, routine cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, equipment, and medical instruments are critical in medical settings.
Products including alcohol wipes, gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, and sterilization wrapping should be readily available for preventing such contamination, but they’re not enough.
If your employees wash their hands, touch a doorknob and then scratch their face or touch their phones, the efforts were for nothing.
Cross-Contamination is a Growing Health Care Concern
Another potentially dangerous way that pathogens are spread involves the process of cross-contamination.
In commercial settings, it is often associated with food preparation, such as in restaurants, nursing homes, and other institutional environments.
Transfers of pathogens might occur on surfaces used in preparation, utensils, or from one type of food to another.
How to Stop Cross-Contamination Before It Starts
What are some of the common guidelines and best practices for preventing cross-contamination?
To limit the danger of transmission, cleaning routines should focus on disinfection techniques to destroy germs and bacteria that may be lying on practically every surface.
Restrooms and toilets, exam rooms, floors, waiting rooms, play areas, kitchens, and other areas where such contamination is a concern should be the focus of commercial cleaning services.
How Electrostatic Disinfectant Companies Help
A professional provider of electrostatic disinfection services will have a trained staff that is prepared and properly equipped.
The method of disinfection allows spraying the solution in a uniform manner that coats the area.
The solution (sanitizer) used begins killing harmful germs on contact and requires no additional manual scrubbing or form of application.
This process is a tremendous time-saver and the sanitizer is effective against influenza, MRSA, and many other risks.
The application process is steadily controlled, which limits the possibility of uneven or excessive use. Electrostatic disinfection is now used on most surfaces and can also be applied on walls or other large surfaces if necessary.
Make Surfaces, Equipment, and Materials Harm Free
The disinfectant is in the form of a positively charged aerosol so the droplets will adhere to the surfaces.
Electrostatic disinfection has proven safe and effective for schools, hospitals, offices, and most other environments.
Keep Your Hands Clean by Eliminating Contact Germs
Commercial facility managers and other property and operations professionals have become aware of the importance of hand hygiene.
The COVID-19 guidelines emphasize that building occupants should have access to alcohol-based sanitizers for hand application. Today, a host of new products exist in the market including wall-mounted, freestanding, and desktop hand sanitizer units.
The product used should have a concentration of alcohol ranging from roughly 60 to 80%. People with visibly dirty hands that contain dirt or grime are best suited for sink washing with soap and water. An alcohol sanitizer is an option in the absence of handwashing stations.
Stop the Spread of Infection With Anti-Microbial Protection
Disinfectants are chemicals that ensure microbes are killed or inactivated and are effective for eliminating health threats.
Antimicrobial chemicals are applied to surfaces for inhibiting the development of microbes such as viruses, fungus, and bacteria. Put another way, antimicrobials represent a preventative method of disinfection.
The EPA does require that both disinfectants and antimicrobials be registered to ensure efficacy and safety.
Electrostatic Disinfection is Highly Effective
Cleaning with an electrostatic spraying device has long proven to be very effective, assuming a suitable disinfectant is dispersed.
Keep in mind that the positive charge is attracted to the surfaces – therefore, less of the product is wasted.
For example, dispersing disinfectant with a traditional spray bottle allows for the solution to “drift” and settle in unintended space.
This ability to effectively disinfect applies to devices such as keyboards that contain many crevices. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use to ensure the maximum benefit is attained.
Science Behind Electrostatic Disinfection
The electrostatic spraying device itself contains an electrode that creates an electric charge and the disinfectant mixes with the air.
One reason why surfaces are well coated is that the individual molecules in the charged disinfectant repel one another. This ensures that the disinfectant is evenly spread and doesn’t simply form duplicate layers and create gaps in coverage.
Another concern with these products is whether the chemicals in aerosol form remain airborne in indoor areas. Unlike many “fogging” products, the aerosol in an electrostatic device is positively charged and the product will adhere to surfaces, leaving no trace behind.
How often should a building be disinfected using an electrostatic sprayer?
The frequency should reflect the needs of the facility based on a host of different factors. One critical consideration is how frequently different building occupants have direct contact with a given surface.
Electrostatic disinfection, unlike antimicrobial applications, is not intended to form a protective barrier against future pathogens.
The frequency of disinfection must be increased in high-traffic areas such as schools, hospitals, and other environments with ongoing exposure.
The recommendation is a daily schedule of cleaning with a detergent and water followed by an application of a disinfectant.
How an Electrostatic Disinfection Program Works
An electrostatic disinfection program begins with preparations that ensure safety based on manufacturer instructions and guidance from regulatory agencies.
Companies that specialize in commercial cleaning and disinfection have established protocols for using personal protective equipment (PPE) during disinfection activity.
The CDC recently addressed the difference between electrostatic spraying, fogging, and vaporizing.
The electrostatic sprayer better ensures the chemical solution adheres to surfaces that exist in the environment.
A fogger or “mister” involves dispersing the disinfectant using a fan.
Vaporizing generally refers to methods of disinfection using devices containing hydrogen peroxide, which applies exclusively in medical or laboratories environments.
Some of the most critical guidelines for avoiding harmful chemical exposure through the mist are as follows:
- Follow the product label safety instructions.
- Avoid body contact as it leads to irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system.
- The individual applying the disinfectant with a sprayer or fogger should promptly vacate the area and increase the ventilation.
- Caution is particularly critical in areas where food preparation or food consumption will occur.
The FDA Regulations
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compiled a detailed plan for sterilization, disinfection, and air purification specifically in medical settings.
They outlined the importance of using chemical disinfectants on medical devices, automated endoscope equipment, and other items.
The FDA also evaluated and confirmed the effectiveness of ultraviolet (UV) disinfection processes.
UV disinfection involves using UVA and UVC light for germicidal effects. Based on the inherent nature of using light, any targeted surface must be properly cleaned before exposure.
UV radiation is also used in conjunction with filters for effectively purifying airborne germs.
If you want to know more about this method of disinfection, you can read all you need to know here.
Environmental Benefit of Electrostatic
A fair amount of research has been conducted regarding any potential environmental concerns associated with electrostatic disinfection.
Thus far, experts have found minimal evidence suggesting that environmental consequences exist.
What has been confirmed includes more efficient use of disinfectants, reduced costs, and the excellent performance of electrostatic methods.
Some Examples of Electrostatic Disinfection
As with most forms of technology, electrostatic sprayers are improving and have several different types.
The majority of units have handheld sprayers and are either carried as a backpack or are mounted upon rolling carts. Power is delivered either from a strong battery or via an electrical cord.
The battery-powered units allow for avoiding possible “cord-related” slip-and-fall types of accidents and also for more freedom of movement.
Early battery-powered models struggled with maintaining sufficient energy for longer periods; however, significant progress has been made in the technology.
The EPA has been exploring how to best develop this technology for biological decontamination. The electrostatic unit would be used as a tool by those who respond to incidents and limit cross-surface contamination risks.
Advantages of Electrostatic Disinfection
Cleaning and Maintenance Management recently addressed some of the primary advantages associated with this method of disinfection:
- Electrostatic systems enhance control and uniformity of coverage.
- They help to conserve the disinfectant solution by up to 60% per sq ft compared to alternatives.
- The application is safe for coating electronic equipment including keyboards, computers, etc.
- They are effective at eliminating causes of odors and recovering from problems with mold.
- After application, the solution dries and does not require using drying towels or cloths.
Disadvantages of Electrostatic Disinfection
Some evidence suggests that spraying surfaces within the liquid might cause possible cross-contamination.
In addition, the misty nature of the electrostatic application is sometimes of insufficient strength to remove spores.
Applying a decontaminant with the water pressure of a more traditional “hose-type” unit seemed more effective in this role.
What is Electrostatic Contamination?
Contamination can be described as a process where an impurity pollutes, taints, tarnishes, or infects something through exposure. The term may refer to an intrusion by some inferior or undesirable element that creates an unwanted mixture.
Electrostatic contamination is generated by excessive electrical charges that result in electrostatic discharge (ESD).
The ESD may create damage by attracting particles and forming a spark that might interrupt certain forms of technology. The excess charge may also result in a lingering “electrostatic field” that adversely affects particles with the opposite charge.
Eliminate Organic Contaminants From Your Facility
Organic contaminants are defined as carbon-based compounds that might include pesticides, solvents, mold, etc.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are types of chemicals that will contaminate an environment and generate odors.
The process of electrostatic disinfection, when using preventive substances, can help eliminate organic contaminants, for example in the case of mold and its allergy-causing spores.
Consider a Preventative Approach
Significant improvement has occurred regarding the Coronavirus, as CDC data shows the COVID-19 vaccine has proven to be effective thus far.
Most coverage suggests employees are returning to workplace settings such as offices, factories, warehouses, gyms, daycares, and more.
Adopting preventative measures is an excellent strategy when concerns exist regarding chemical exposure. Building management teams might encourage workers that suspect they are being exposed to contaminants to voice their concerns.
Equally as important to recognize is ensuring proper follow-up occurs.
The facility should establish a written procedure for the response process that also serves as documentation.
The concern must then be analyzed and remedial measures performed.
Purchasing departments should prioritize “low or no VOC” products when procuring flooring, office furniture, painting supplies, etc.
Do You Need an Electrostatic Disinfection Company to Solve Your Problem?
How does the management of a facility know whether electrostatic disinfection would be a valuable solution?
Facilities with large areas containing surfaces and equipment that need disinfection are logical candidates. This assessment might be made by considering the time and laborious activity necessary to complete manual disinfection.
Electrostatic disinfection often benefits those with “hard-to-reach” areas. Examples of facilities currently using these services include office buildings, large retail locations, multi-unit housing, and vast entertainment venues.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Calling an Electrostatic Disinfectant Company?
A commercial cleaning and disinfection company should operate with adherence to high standards and excellent safety practices.
The provider should be well-trained and properly equipped for completing a variety of tasks. As with most sectors today, the best organizations adopt technology that increases efficiency, decreases costs, heightens communication, etc.
Some facilities will use providers of electrostatic services on an “as needed” basis, such as in response to a problem. For example, water damage from a plumbing problem has created a strong risk for the development of mold.
How Can I Find an Electrostatic Disinfectant Company?
The first strategy for identifying an electrostatic disinfection company is through colleagues, friends, and others within your professional network.
Perhaps you are involved in an industry association or local civic organization? Think of other business people that you know and trust for possible referrals.
Consider using the ISSA member directory, which contains many providers within the commercial cleaning industry.
You can also check the internet reviews of some of the companies in your region.
Clean VS Sterile
A surface is generally defined as clean when it is free of dirt, residue, stains, etc.
The term sterile implies that a surface contains no viable forms of life, such as germs or bacteria.
Settings that strive for sterility include hospitals, surgery centers, and other locations where occupants may have risks of infection.
Individuals operating in sterile environments often wear exterior coverings as a protective barrier including gowns, gloves, and masks. Many of the cleaning solutions used in sterile environments are antiseptics that eliminate the threat of germs.
Electrostatic VS Ionizing
Electrostatic and ionic technologies apply to products such as air purifiers that limit air pollution indoors.
Both of these methods involve generating an electrical charge. Electrostatic purification devices contain plates capable of generating electrical charges that are both positive and negative.
Electrostatic purification requires the air to enter the device, unlike ionizers that purify the air externally. An electrostatic unit takes in polluted air, applies a charge, conducts filtration, and expels the purified air.
Ionic purifiers emit negative ions (externally) that attract air pollutants, which are composed of neutral and positive particles. Ionizing devices do not use filters like electrostatic units.
When we discuss “touch” diseases we are referring to how pathogens are transmitted through contact.
Diseases may be spread or transmitted directly or indirectly. Direct contact involves a physical interaction between two people, while indirect contact does not.
What to Do Before Calling
Gathering some basic information is critical before contacting a provider of electrostatic disinfection services.
Compile data including your goals, the physical size of the space, and a basic summary of the operating environment.
What to Do After Calling
The best thing to do is to create a list of questions that you will ask during the onsite visit. Speak with building occupants within different departments to obtain feedback regarding any risks of transmission.
8 Reasons Why Calling an Electrostatic Disinfectant Company Today is Important
Here’s how you can benefit by having a professional company manage your building:
1. Time: Maximize operational efficiency by relying on assistance from a team of professionals.
2. Cost: Implementing a disinfection program may reduce sick days, increase staff retention rates, and lead to other financial benefits.
3. Convenience: The facility management team is relieved of burdens associated with oversight of the cleaning and disinfection process.
4. Safety: The health and well-being of building occupants will improve.
5. Availability: A professional service provider will operate on a schedule that is customized for the facility.
6. Expertise: The professionals are properly trained and equipped.
7. Improving Employee Morale: Employees are more likely to thrive in a clean and more positive environment.
8. Improving Customer Service: Better employee morale can improve the quality of customer interactions.
Leading Provider of Commercial Cleaning and Workplace Disinfection Services
For many years now, Servi-Tek Facility Solutions has been delivering results for clients operating in various types of commercial environments.
Our team of seasoned specialists provides proactive and conscientious cleaning, janitorial, facility maintenance, and engineering services.
We are also proud of our achieving accreditation by the Global BioRisk Advisory Council (GBAC).
The GBAC is an industry-leading group in the realm of microbial-pathogenic strategy, response, and recovery. The group is a division of the international cleaning industry association known as ISSA.
Contact us today to find out how we can assist you and become a trusted partner.