Monday, February 26, 2018

Difference between Fumigation and Fogging

Fumigation and fogging are very important processes in cleanroom area to minimize and
control the microbial load.

To keep the controlled area from being
contaminated in pharmaceuticals, two
processes namely fumigation and fogging are
used. Both the processes are used for the
same purpose, but the difference between
fumigation and fogging in pharmaceuticals is
great. Moreover, fumigation is banned in few
pharmaceuticals because of its negative effects
while fogging is a safer option than the former.
It is very important to know both the processes
to thoroughly understand the differences. In
fumigation, formaldehyde solution is mixed with
the potassium permanganate in a fixed
proportion. This mixing of formaldehyde with
potassium permanganate gives rise to fumes,
which are very effective in killing bacteria,
fungus, and their spores. This is one of the
most preferred ways of controlling the
While fumigation involves spraying formaldehyde
and potassium permanganate in liquid form,
fogging uses the mixture of hydrogen peroxide
and silver ion solution to control the
contamination. Fogging also requires a fogger
machine, which effectively fills the space with
the fogging solution. There are many different
disinfectants used as the fogging solution but
the above mentioned are most commonly
Nowadays, fogging is used more than
fumigation. As mentioned earlier, this is due to
the negative side effects of fumigation.
Fumigation involves formaldehyde solution,
which is carcinogenic or simply known as
cancer causing solution. The user has the risk
of getting infected with cancer and that is one
of the main reasons as to why fumigation is
banned. Apart from causing cancer, the
formaldehyde solution also causes the user
irritation in the eyes and nose, dizzy head, and
Other than the negative side effects, fumigation
also requires a lot of cleaning up after the
process is implemented. After the process of
fumigation in the controlled area, there is a
requirement of de-fumigation in that area too.
This generally requires air handling unit, also
known as AHU, which has to be continuously
run for a few hours in order to remove the
residues from the air. Also, mopping and
cleaning of the equipment and the area are
also needed after fumigation.
While fumigation has so many drawbacks,
fogging is completely safe. The fogger machine
simply sprays the hydrogen peroxide and silver
ion solution in the form of the aerosol in the
controlled area. Also, there is no risk to the
personnel handling the equipment and there is
no need of cleaning and moping or any other
activity like de-fogging after the process. It is
completely safe and the residues in the air
decompose with water and nascent oxygen.
To conclude, obviously fogging is a better and
safe method to control the contamination in
pharmaceuticals. With the grave difference
between them, fogging is the one which is more
preferred in the two as it is safe for the
personnel and no extra work is required. The
hydrogen peroxide and silver ion solution kills
bacteria and fungus without any difficulty and
there is no need of taking care of the residues,
unlike in the process of fumigation, where
regular care is required to keep the area as well
as the personnel handling equipment safe.
Therefore, fogging is preferred between