Determining the performance of a commercial air purification system for reducing airborne contamination using model micro-organisms: A new test methodology

W. D. Griffiths*, Allan Bennett, S. Speight, S. Parks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The performance of a duct-mounted air disinfection system, designed to reduce airborne pathogens in the hospital environment, was determined using a new testing methodology. The methodology places the equipment in a test duct, a microbial aerosol is generated and then sampled simultaneously before and after the test system. This allows a percentage efficiency value to be calculated. The air disinfection system is a novel chemical-coated filter and ultraviolet (UV) radiation air purification system, operating at a flow rate of 500 m3/ h, against aerosols of MS2 phage and Mycobacterium vaccae (surrogates of viral and mycobactericidal pathogens). A three UV lamp system was effective against airborne phages, removing an average of 97.34% of the aerosolized challenge. With the UV component switched off, the average efficiency dropped to 61.46%. This demonstrates that the chemical-coated filter component plays a more significant role than the UV radiation in destroying phages. When six UV lamps were used, the system was able to remove mycobacteria with an efficiency exceeding 99.99%. This test methodology can be used to assess manufacturers' claims of efficacy of equipment against airborne micro-organisms in the hospital environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-247
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Volume61
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005

Keywords

  • Air purification system
  • Bio-aerosol models
  • Hospital-acquired infection
  • New test methodology

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