Background: Healthcare facilities and other institutions are potential clients for companies that market environmental decontamination products. However, many of the claims made regarding these products have not been subjected to rigorous testing. The FOGMASTER JR. is a hand-held fogging device that delivers a mist of a quaternary ammonium compound. The advertising materials for the device claim efficacy against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and H1N1 influenza, and some Cleveland area schools have purchased the device for environmental decontamination of these pathogens.
Objective: To test the efficacy of the FOGMASTER JR. for decontamination of MRSA and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) on surfaces.
Methods: The efficacy of environmental disinfection using the FOGMASTER JR. (United Laboratories) with UNITED 64 BACFIGHTER quaternary ammonium disinfectant was assessed on laboratory bench tops and in hospital rooms. Suspensions of MRSA and VRE were inoculated onto surfaces and the numbers of organisms recovered before and after application of the product were compared.
Results: On surfaces, direct application of the quaternary ammonium compound was effective in reducing recovery of MRSA or VRE by ≥3-4 logs. However, application of the product using the FOGMASTER JR. as recommended by the company did not result in application of a sufficient amount of product to significantly reduce recovery of MRSA or VRE (P =1). Increasing the time of fogging to 5 minutes resulted in only a modest reduction (~ 1 log) in contamination on surfaces that were in direct proximity to the FOGMASTER JR.
Conclusions: The quaternary ammonium compound used with the FOGMASTER JR. was effective in killing MRSA and VRE. However, the FOGMASTER JR. did not deliver a sufficient quantity of the product to kill the pathogens on surfaces directly adjacent to the device. These findings illustrate the importance of evaluating the claims made by manufacturers of environmental decontamination products.