Disinfecting Technologies Scrutinized In Fight Against SARS-CoV-2
Experts are predicting a big surge in cleaning demands as the coronavirus threats continue. According to various reports, facilities across the country are exploring what cleaning and disinfecting needs to get done before they'll be able to open their doors again. These new processes and technologies are expected to take hold in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and stick around to fight future infectious threats.
For example, Marriott International announced a new cleanliness plan that will roll out over the next few months across its more than 7,000 hotels, which include the Ritz, W, Westin and Aloft brands. According to Conde Nast Traveler, cleaning programs will now include (but are not limited to) the use of electrostatic sprayers and the potential for ultraviolet equipment.
In addition to the growing demands for electrostatic and UV equipment, fogging machines have seen a resurgence in the wake of this pandemic. In Hawaii, various medical facilities are hoping to calm public fear for infections by implementing fogging to their existing processes. According to the Hawaii Tribune Herald, using the equipment will result in more thorough cleaning.
A Dallas-based building service contractor also encourages disinfecting technologies, say Dallas Business Journal reports. Providing businesses with Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) cleaning, disinfecting, and remediation services, the BSC uses EPA-registered disinfectants in electrostatic sprayers and fogging machines.
Fogging is all over the news right now. The New York Times outlined that airlines, including Delta, have been fogging aircraft with disinfectants for a few weeks already. And transit authorities, including those in New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., have stepped up their cleaning practices, too. The Georgia National Guard has also been disinfecting the state’s nursing homes.
Although there is a strong push for the extra assurances that cleaning might provide, there is debate over the effectiveness of methods such as fogging. The Environmental Protection Agency recently released the following statement:
"EPA does not recommend use of fumigation or wide-area spraying to control COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you clean contaminated surfaces with liquid products, such as those provided on List N, to prevent the spread of disease. Fumigation and wide-area spraying are not appropriate tools for cleaning contaminated surfaces."
The statement doesn't explain the reasons why wide-area spraying is not appropriate, which continues to add confusion for cleaning/janitorial professionals. Instead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers general cleaning and disinfecting recommendations using only products listed on the EPA List N, which are registered for use against SARS-CoV-2.