Fumigation is a process of filling an area (typically a contaminated one) with gas or vapor to kill or rid whatever is present that needs to be eliminated. Oftentimes fumigation treatments are used to kill unwanted pathogens like bacteria and viruses in places like food processing facilities, hospitals, or schools. Like most things, there are advantages and disadvantages to fumigation treatments, and these should be considered when determining whether it is the best option for disinfection in any given circumstance.
Advantages of Fumigation Treatments
Fumigation treatments are a highly popular choice for disinfection, as there are many advantages to this method of treatment. First and foremost, fumigation treatments are extremely effective. The gases used are able to reach areas that other disinfection methods simply cannot, such as cracks, crevices, and higher surfaces, ensuring that everything is properly disinfected. On top of the reach gases have, fumigation kills a wide range of microorganisms, making it a versatile option for many types of fumigation job.
Beyond being very effective, fumigation treatments are typically done very quickly. Most of the time the process can be done in just a few hours allowing the area to be up and running again sooner. Of course, certain situations may involve more time, especially depending on the scale of the treatment area, but typically fumigation treatments are great options for businesses or organizations that need to be back to operating as quickly as possible.
Lastly, fumigation treatments are oftentimes more cost-effective in the long term. The initial cost of fumigation may be higher, due to the specialized nature of the process, but money can be saved by the prevention of diseases spreading and reducing the need for any ongoing cleaning and disinfection. Other methods of disinfection may come at a lower initial cost but may not be as effective or may require follow-up treatments.
Disadvantages of Fumigation Treatments
While fumigation treatments have many benefits and are a great option for disinfection, there are still disadvantages to be aware of when deciding if it is the right option. One of the most notable disadvantages is that fumigation can be dangerous if not done properly. Gases used to eliminate bacteria and viruses can sometimes be harmful to humans and animals, and could even cause health problems if inhaled. Additionally, if not properly done, gases can linger in the air and pose a risk after the treatment has concluded. This is why it is important to allow trained professionals to perform fumigation treatments and ensure everything is done both safely and correctly. OHSA has a list of approved contact-time concentrations for chemical gasses that can be referenced as a “safe level” for re-entry.
Another factor to consider with fumigation treatments is that, while typically done quickly, fumigation treatments disrupt daily activities. The process requires the treated area to be evacuated for the time that it takes to be treated. So while it is not as long of a process as some other methods, it does require the evacuation of the area, causing any work done in that area to be stopped.
Fumigation treatments provide a great option for those looking to treat an enclosed area with unwanted pests, odors, bacteria, or viruses. Compared to other methods fumigation treatments are typically more effective, quicker, and more cost-effective in the long run. Like all things, there are downsides to fumigation that must be considered beforehand, such as the safety precautions and disruption of daily activities it may cause. With proper planning and execution by trained professionals, however, these risks can be mitigated and fumigation can be an excellent option for thorough disinfection.
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