Glossary of Terms

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On this website, we use a lot of niche terms. While we try to present everything in a simple, succinct way, it’s not always easy. Electrostatic sprayers and plasma air purifiers are pretty complex, after all.

So we’ve written a brief glossary of our frequently used terms. They focus on the tools, processes and chemicals we use to keep our environments safe and germ free. To learn more about terms associated with specific viruses and bacteria, consider checking out the CDC website.

EnviroPro Solutions Glossary of Terms: Air Purifiers, Electrostatic Sprayers, Disinfectants and more


Aerosolized:

When a substance is converted into a fine spray.

Novaerus air purifier

Air purifier:

A machine that removes contaminants from the air. Air purifiers can work using any number of different processes, including physical filtration, plasma dischargeUV-C radiation, ionic charging and more.

The Novaerus air purifiers sold by EnviroPro Solutions use plasma discharge to kill and destroy air-borne pathogens.

Airless sprayer:

Airless sprayers can atomize cleaning chemicals without using compressed air. A high-pressure supply line pumps the chemicals through the system. When the chemicals are forced out of the sprayer tip, they emerge with higher velocity and smaller droplet size than conventional sprayers.

Clean:

Free of dirt, marks or stains. The term is used casually to refer to a surface that has been sanitized or disinfected. However, the formal definition of clean does not include the neutralization or removal of pathogens.

Our website will sometimes use clean, sanitized and disinfected interchangeably for readability’s sake. However, strictly speaking, our sprayers and chemical cleaners are used specifically for sanitizing and disinfecting.

Contamination:

In the context of sanitizing and disinfecting, contamination refers to a pathogen or other harmful element being present. Close contact can cause these ‘contaminants’ to transfer from surfaces to PPE and people.

Conventional sprayers:

At EnviroPro Solutions, we use this term to refer to older-style sprayers that may be operated with a manual trigger or pump, or used in combination with simple compressed air.

We use this term in contrast with two more advanced sprayer types, electrostatic sprayers and airless sprayers.

Cordless:

Does not need to be plugged in for operation. For our electrostatic and airless sprayers, this means they are powered by a rechargeable battery.

Disinfection:

Refers to the elimination of all or nearly all pathogens and microorganisms on inanimate objects. One exception is bacterial spores, which disinfectants may or may not eliminate.

Dwell time:

In the context of sanitization and disinfection this refers to the amount of time a cleaning chemical must be wet and in contact with a surface for it to be fully effective. Also referred to as “contact time.”

GRACO handheld electrostatic sprayer

Electrostatic sprayer:

An advanced type of powered sprayer that imparts a positive charge to the aerosolized particles as they exit the nozzle.

Since most surfaces on the Earth are naturally negatively or neutrally charged, the positive particles are drawn to the surfaces they are sprayed on. They adhere more strongly and spread more evenly, minimizing the risks of runoff and missed spots. Charged particles can also ‘wrap’ complex shapes, landing on surfaces they were not directly pointed at thanks to electrical attraction.

Enveloped virus:

A virus with an outer wrapping or envelope, usually made up of lipids and proteins. Disinfectants kill enveloped viruses by disrupting and destroying the envelope.

EPA List N:

A list of products compiled the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that are expected to kill the virus that causes COVID-19. You can learn more about List N in our blog.

Food-contact surfaces:

Any surface that comes in contact with human food, or the drainage from which may make contact with surfaces that come in contact with human food.

Food-contact surfaces often require additional considerations during sanitizing and disinfection procedures, including pre-cleaning and rinsing.

High-touch surfaces:

Any surface frequently handled, manipulated, rested on or otherwise contacted by human hands.

High-touch surfaces are the most likely surfaces to lead to cross-contamination and infection. They require special attention during the planning and execution phases of any disinfecting protocol.

Quaternary ammonium disinfecting spray kits

Hospital-grade:

When used to describe a disinfectant, that disinfectant can be considered suitable for broad general purpose disinfection. It is not considered suitable for use with devices or materials likely to come into contact with broken skin.

All disinfectants sold by EnviroPro Solutions are hospital-grade.

Micron:

A unit of measurement equal to length of one millionth of a meter.

Microns are used to measure the size of the droplets created by a given spray nozzle. For example, our VP55 40 Micron Nozzle for our Victory electrostatic sprayers produces particles approximately 40 microns in diameter.

Microorganism:

A microscopic organism.

In the world of disinfection, microorganism is usually used to refer to bacteria, fungi and/or viruses.

Non-enveloped virus:

A virus with no outer wrapping or envelope. Usually more difficult for disinfectants to kill.

Non-porous:

The quality of being impermeable to outside elements such as air, water and other fluids.

Most disinfectants are qualified for use on non-porous surfaces only. They have reduced or no effectiveness when used on porous surfaces, such as fabric or wood.

Pathogens:

A bacterium, fungal spore, virus or other microorganism that can cause disease.

Plasma discharge:

In the context of our Novaerus air purifiers, this refers to a discharge of ionized gas that strikes and destroys airborne pathogens within the purifier. The process is akin to a microscopic lightning strike.

Smiling woman wearing PPE

PPE:

Acronym for Personal Protective Equipment. Can refer to face masks, safety glasses, gloves and other paraphernalia worn to protect a person from external risks or contaminants.

Quaternary ammonium:

General term for a group of salts and other compounds that are commonly used in antimicrobial applications.

EnviroPro Solutions sells two quaternary ammonium based disinfectants64 Millennium Q and 128 E-Fecticide.

Runoff:

In the context of disinfecting chemicals, refers to the flow of chemicals off of the intended surface.

Runoff presents several complications including cutting in to required dwell times and transferring contaminantsElectrostatic sprayers significantly reduce the problem.

Sanitization:

Refers to the substantial reduction of pathogens and microorganisms on inanimate objects, as judged by public health standards or requirements. Get more information from the CDC here.

Touchless application:

Used to describe tools that do not require the operator to make physical contact with a surface prior to disinfection.

For example, electrostatic sprayers allow touchless application, but disinfecting wipes do not.

Of course, if a word you’re wondering about didn’t end up on this list, you can always reach out to us at [email protected] or by phone at 1-763-296-4449. We’re always happy to answer your questions!