Enhanced Building Hygiene

Achieve Enhanced Building Hygiene by disinfecting critical surfaces after a thorough cleaning to remove infectious agents from contaminated surfaces to break the chain of infection and protect building occupants.

The realization of the threat to building occupants from disease causing germs has caused all of us to rethink the meaning of the word “clean.” Cleaning now includes removing, or deactivating invisible microbial contaminants on a daily basis. According to the CDC, the amount of Norovirus that would fit on the head of a pin has the potential to infect 1,000 people.12 This means that looking clean is not enough. We now need the next level beyond looking clean, Enhanced Building Hygiene.

Breaking the Chain of Infection

In Epidemiology, scientists study “The Chain of Infection,” the process through which disease transmits through an environment. Transmission occurs when the infectious agent (germ) leaves its reservoir through a portal of exit, is conveyed by some mode of transmission, and enters through an appropriate portal of entry to infect a susceptible host. Once the susceptible host is infected, they become a reservoir, and the process starts over. Enhanced Building Hygiene aims to break the chain of infection by disinfecting surfaces, preventing transmission to a susceptible host.

The Role of Electrostatic Sprayers in Enhanced Building Hygiene

During the COVID-19 pandemic, one technology emerged as the most effective method for disinfecting surfaces, electrostatic spraying. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has evaluated and approved numerous disinfectants for use with electrostatic sprayers. In addition, the Global Biorisk Advisory Panel (GBAC) encourages using advanced technologies, like electrostatic sprayers, when developing a disinfection program. Electrostatic sprayers apply a high-voltage charge to droplets as they leave the spray nozzle. These charged droplets are attracted to surfaces in the area. The droplets form a uniform layer on the target surface and wrap around the target to coat more completely than non-charged sprayers. One EPA study found that electrostatic sprayers achieved the same reduction of germs while using 16 times less spray volume and 75 times less run-off waste than traditional sprayers.9

Electro-Mist 4B

4-Gallon Cordless Electrostatic Sprayer

The Electro-Mist 4B is a fast and effective sprayer with features that make it an essential element in your Building Hygiene Program.

  • High capacity 4-gallon tank for up to 2.5 hours of spraying
  • 12V maintenance-free battery for up to 10 hours of run time
  • Optional 50-foot hose kit to cover large areas quickly.

Electrostatic sprayers improve the productivity of the Enhanced Building Hygiene processes and are especially useful if:

  • There are a large number of high-risk, high-touch areas.
  • There are large surfaces, like showers, bathroom stalls, tabletops, or auditorium seats that need disinfection.
  • There are complex-shaped objects that need disinfection, like seating or toilets.

Enhanced Building Hygiene - Best Practices

  1. Identify higher risk areas where many people touch the same surfaces. Examples: doorknobs, switches, soap dispensers, waste receptacles, railings, seating in common meeting areas, and bathroom fixtures.
  2. Document a cleaning and disinfection procedure for these surfaces. Include the frequency of disinfection. For restrooms, we recommend surface disinfection every 24-hours. For other areas, we recommend disinfecting high-risk surfaces after routine cleaning. We also recommend disinfection after high-use events like a large gathering.
  3. Train cleaning staff and provide adequate time to complete the surface disinfection tasks. Always review the disinfectant chemical label to ensure that the disinfectant is dwelling on the surface for the proper amount of time.

Need More Expert Advice?

NSS has regional managers throughout North America to help steer you in the right direction. Use the “Start a conversation” button on our homepage to let us know who you are and where you’re located. One of our regional managers will reach out to consult with you about your cleaning operations.

The Extraordinary Impact of Infections on US Businesses and Institutions

Enhanced Building Hygiene is good business. Eliminating germs on surfaces reduces the likelihood that your occupants will contract a disease. With fewer opportunities to become infected, building occupants stay healthier and more productive.

Norovirus 1,2,10

20 million cases per year
400,000 Emergency Room Visits
500,000+ Hospitalizations
$1.4 billion healthcare costs
Survives up to 3 weeks on surfaces

Common Cold 3,10

500 million cases
122 million doctor visits
6 million emergency room visits
70 million work-days missed
189 million school days missed
$40 billion total costs
Survives up to 7 hours on surfaces

COVID-19 7,8,11

33+ million cases
2+ million hospitalizations
600,000+ deaths
~ $16 trillion, globally
Survives up to 3 days on surfaces

Influenza 4,5,6,10

9 – 45 million cases
140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations
12,000 – 61,000 deaths
17 million work-days missed
$11 – $87 billion total costs
Survives up to 2 days on surfaces

1. Bartsch SM, LopmanBA, Ozawa S, Hall AJ, Lee BY.Global Economic Burden of Norovirus Gastroenteritis. 2016; PLoSOne 11(4): e015121910.1371/journal.pone.0151219CAvailable from:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27115736/
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Norovirus:[cited 2021 May 13] Availablefrom:www.cdc.gov/norovirus/index.html
3. Fendrick MF et al. The Economic Burden of Non–Influenza-Related Viral Respiratory Tract Infection in the United States. Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(4):487-494
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Disease Burden of Influenza.[cited 2021May13] Availablefrom:https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html
5. Molinari et al. The annual impact of seasonal influenza in the US: measuring disease burden and costs. Vaccine, 2007; 25(27):5086-96
6. Putri WCWS et al. Economic burden of seasonal influenza in the United States. Vaccine, 2018: 36(27):3960-3966
7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review. [cited 2021 May 13] Available from:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html
8. Cutler, DM, Summers LH.TheCOVID-19 Pandemic and the $16 TrillionVirus.JAMA.2020;324(15):1495-1496[cited 2021 May 10] Available from:https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2771764
9. Archer J, Karnik M, Touati A, Aslett D, Abdel-Hady A. Evaluation of electrostatic sprayers for use in a personnel decontamination line protocol for biological contamination incident response operations [Internet]. Washington, DC: United States Environmental Protection Agency; 2018.
10. Adapted from Hota B, et al. Clin Infect Dis 2004; 39:1182-9 and Kramer A, et al. BMC Infectious Diseases 2006; 6:130
11. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/study-suggests-new-coronavirus-may-remain-surfaces-days [cited 08/19/2021]
12. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/norovirus/infographic.html [cited 08/19/2021]

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