Trick Or Treatment: Efficacy Claims of Air Management Devices
Indoor Air Quality is continually rising in importance as a significant public health issue in multiple industry sectors with the emergence of various Covid-19 strains.
Air Purifier Hospitals
Many of the regulations affecting Indoor Air Quality are only recommended guidelines by federal and non profit regulatory groups.
These guidelines are fragmented, incomplete and overlapping. However, the federal government and states are working on drafting regulations to combat the misinformation that exists in the industry.
hospital grade air purifier
There are a plethora of both commercial and residential air management devices in the overly saturated market of today. Assessing the efficacy claims of these devices is a complicated matter and should not be taken lightly.
The EPA and Air Devices
The EPA has strict requirements regarding EPA registered chemicals, including Good Laboratory Practices for chemistry, toxicology and efficacy of these chemicals.
Air management devices do not require EPA registration and therefore do not require strict formal testing of their efficacy claims. Air management devices are only “regulated “ by the EPA rather than registered. Regulated devices are not required to disclose their efficacy data or verify their efficacy claims in their marketing materials.
The EPA does have a website on residential air cleaners. At this site they dispel the effectiveness claims of certain technologies such as photocatalytic oxidation.
It is up to the consumer of these devices to carry out their due diligence on investigating efficacy claims in regards to particulate reduction, pathogen killing and odor removal.
Finding the Right Device
Numerous factors need to be considered in choosing the appropriate device for the specific application. These factors include: functionality, portability, design, weight, air flow rates, air inflow/outflow sites, safe use, noise level, independent third party efficacy testing, verification of efficacy claims for particulate reduction, pathogen killing and odor removal and absence of dangerous by- products.
Health care facilities face the strictest standards for air quality. The potential cost for exposing patients and staff to Hospital Acquired Infections requires the highest standards of filtration and air disinfection. You are likely to find the best solution when following the trends of healthcare professionals and facilities.
The EPA has set guidelines for the appropriate type and size of bioaerosol chamber to test air management devices, in regards to verifiable pathogen killing efficacy.
Pathogen efficacy parameters that require assessment include an independent, third party, nationally recognized lab facility, type and size of bioaerosol chamber, test methods employed, contact time (minutes vs hours), type of pathogen, and killing percentage.
Many air management devices make pathogen efficacy claims based on testing with 1) small bioaerosol chambers, at 2) non independent academic labs, with 3) excessively long contact times (ie, 24 hours), and at an ineffective killing percentage rate ( ie, 99%).
It is extremely important ,when analyzing and comparing these devices, that testing parameters are actually directly comparable. The same conditions apply to field studies. The field studies should be conducted at non biased facilities with scientific test conditions that isolate out all testing room variables except for the air management device itself.
If you would like to find out more about the safest practices in air management, visit our Hospital Air Quality page.