Most school administrators would say that keeping kids in school is their number one concern. When dealing with cold and flu outbreaks in schools, many administrations look for solutions to reduce germs that are causing illnesses. One newer technology is electrostatic application of a sanitizer. It is ideal for large areas like classrooms and buses and, until recently, sanitizers couldn’t be aerosolized without presenting a significant health risk. Innovations in sanitizers and electrostatic applicators present the most significant evolution in sanitizing standards in the last 50 years.
How does electrostatic sanitization work?
Basically, electrostatic spraying (ES) is a process for applying liquids to a surface. It uses an air compressor to generate a powerful liquid flow with a force stronger than gravity. The liquid is atomized into droplets, which are charged by the application of an electrical current via an electrode as they exit the sprayer. When the charged droplets approach a surface, they induce an opposite charge on the surface. This attracts the droplets to the surface and they are able to wrap around onto all surfaces. Electrostatic technology enables sanitizers to reach the side, underside and backside of surfaces. The droplets are also repelled from each other, which ensures a uniform coating. Electrostatic technology is superior to traditional spraying because of this. Rather than requiring a variety of angles to reach all corners and planes of various surfaces, electrostatic spraying ensures that all surfaces are evenly coated, regardless of the angle of application.
Electrostatic spraying is very efficient at covering complex shapes with a uniform film. The technology has been used to apply pesticides to crops because of the ability to cover the top and bottom of leaves, ensuring complete coverage. It ensures that all surfaces get covered with highly uniform film. Because of the atomization of the droplets and the high-powered spray, often up to 1/3 less solution is needed to cover equal areas because waste is minimized.
How can electrostatic sanitization help?
ES technology breaks the cycle of the reintroduction of germs and shuts down an outbreak before it happens. If germs are already existing on a surface, electrostatic application of a sanitizer will eliminate those germs on all surfaces. It is ideal for application in large areas such as buses, hospital rooms, gyms, offices, school rooms and institutional kitchens. Sanitizers that can be applied via ES can eliminate the germs that cause salmonella, E coli, MRSA, and the common cold and flu in schools, offices, and other community areas.
The main benefits of electrostatic sanitization include:
- Compared to conventional methods, it reduces the time and labor costs required to sanitize surfaces.
- Effectively sanitize areas that traditional methods can’t properly treat.
- Controlled application that eliminates the dangers of overuse, and reduces sanitizer product costs.
- Reduce exposure to financial burdens associated with disease outbreak.
- Improved infection control and the spread of viruses.
One example of the effectiveness of electrostatic sanitization is the successful reduction of illness during a norovirus outbreak in the South Bay Union Elementary School District in Humboldt County, California. In December 2017, the school was shut down due to the outbreak, and the classrooms were treated by SafeHandles’ electrostatic sanitization with Pure HSC before the students returned. Gary Storts, superintendent, said “The attendance data speaks for itself. We’ve seen over a one percent increase in student attendance in pre-SafeHandles and post-SafeHandles.” Ongoing treatment of the classrooms and school buses has continued to demonstrate that increase. In the case of South Bay Union School District, a one percent increase in attendance translated into 1,542 additional student-seat days across a 6-month period, so better learning can take place.