Fumigation: Definition, Requirements & Procedure

Definition of fumigation

Fumigation is a process where fumigant, a chemical at a required temperature and pressure can exist in a gaseous form in sufficient concentration will be lethal to pest organisms. It is a very useful method to control insect pests, diseases,s, and nematodes. But in reference to the medical field, it uses for the reduction of microbial agents ( bacteria, fungi, virus) on hospital surfaces and to control surgical site infections as well as for areas where microbiological cleanliness is required.

Requirements for fumigation

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) set that includes face protection, goggles and mask or face shield, gloves, gown or coverall, head cover, and rubber boots.
  • Formalin/ saturated formaldehyde solution (37%)
  • Distilled water (D/W)
  • Electric boiler
  • Potassium permanganate
  • Ammonia

Fumigation Procedure

  1. Thoroughly clean windows, doors, floor, walls, and all washable equipment with soap and water.
  2. Close windows and ventilators tightly. If any openings are found seal it with cellophane tape or other material.
  3. Switch off all lights, A/C, and other electrical electronic items
  4. Calculate the room size in cubic feet (Length X Breadth X Height) and calculate the required amount of formaldehyde as given in.
  5. Personal care during fumigation: Adequate care must be taken during wearing  PPE that includes face protection, goggles and mask or face shield, gloves, gown or coverall, head cover, and rubber boots. (Note- Formaldehyde is irritant to the eye nose and it has been recognized as a potential carcinogen. So the fumigating employee must be provided with the personal protective equipment.)
  6. Creating the Formaldehyde gas:-Electric boiler fumigation method for every 1000 cubic feet of the volume of the operation  theater-500 ml of formaldehyde (saturated i.e. 37% ) added in 1000 ml of water in an electric boiler. Switch on the boiler, leave the room and seal the door. After 45 minutes (variable depending on volume present in the boils apparatus) switch off the boiler without entering into the room.

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