COVID-19: Electrostatic Sprayers and Foggers for Disinfectant Application

July 21, 2021

COVID-19: Electrostatic Sprayers and Foggers for Disinfectant Application

Routine cleaning and disinfection of potentially contaminated surfaces is recommended along with other infection control activities, to limit the spread of COVID-19. While risk infection from surfaces remains low, business owners, school district leaders, and even mass transit leaders need ways to clean and disinfect large areas quickly and effectively that are frequently touched by many people. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) researchers have evaluated innovative ways to disinfect these spaces such as the use of electrostatic sprayers and foggers.

The use of us of these alternative methods to rapidly apply disinfectants over a large area or complex, intricate surfaces has increased substantially with the COVID-19 outbreak. While this technology has been used for many years in other industries (e.g., efficient application of pesticides to crops), its use as a technique to efficiently and rapidly apply disinfectants to surfaces, especially those that may be contaminated with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19), has recently grown in popularity.

This webinar will discuss the methods and results in which several types of electrostatic sprayers and foggers were evaluated for parameters such as spray charge, droplet size, and disinfection efficacy.


Joseph Wood is a senior research engineer with ORD’s Center for Environmental Solutions & Emergency Response. He has been with the EPA since 1991 (previously doing air pollution engineering) and has been conducting decontamination research since 2004. His research focuses primarily on the development, testing and evaluation of technologies for the decontamination of materials contaminated with biological agents and biotoxins. Joe also investigates the persistence of biological agents as well as treatment and disposal of waste materials contaminated with bioagents. He is the primary author or co-author for more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and ~ 75 US EPA published reports. He holds a master’s degree in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), and is a licensed professional engineer. Joseph is also HAZWOPER-certified.

Matthew Magnuson is a Research Chemist for EPA’s Homeland Security Research Program/Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response, and has been with EPA in Cincinnati, Ohio since 1996. He received his PhD in chemistry in 1994 from the University of Oklahoma (Norman), and is author of more than 50 peer reviewed publications in areas including homeland security, analytical chemistry, environmental chemistry, and forensic analysis. He is currently involved in homeland security programs related to analysis and environmental fate of chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) contaminants. A major focus of his work is management and treatment of large volumes of CBR contaminated water and wastewater. Collaborations include U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and National Institutes of Justice.