Combating the virus in the air

Reducing the risk of infection through virus by combating the air pathogens 

Common cold and flu remedies get passed down from generation to generation. From grandma’s chicken soup recipe to ginger & honey in tea, there are plenty of home remedies in every household. But some flu viruses are more serious, and one needs a strong defence mechanism. Viruses ranges in size from 20-400 nanometer that is equivalent to 0.02-0,4 micrometer. 

 

Camfil’s team around the globe is closely monitoring the news surrounding the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The situation is changing rapidly and is likely to continue to develop in the days and months ahead.

Difficult situations call for coordinated actions and Camfil’s team is committed in finding solutions during this troubled time due to COVID-19 pandemic. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your local Camfil office. Stay safe! 

Mark Simmons CEO Camfil Group 

READ MY MESSAGE 

Camfil on coronavirus

Camfil has addressed the issue of COVID-19 by summarizing key findings in regards to the way the virus is deemed to spread, the estimated size of the virus and how air filtration may offer better ways to limit the chance of contamination in your own environment. Read more by clicking on the below button. 

CAMFIL BELGIUM'S CONTINUED SERVICES 

Camfil NV/SA is still at your service

Despite the COVID-19 crisis

Camfil NV/SA is carefully monitoring the evolving situation around the spreading of COVID-19 and remains committed to mitigating any potential impact on the supply chain and operations of our client base.

As always, Camfil NV/SA puts its customers first. Camfil’s workforce is highly qualified, dedicated and passionate towards our mission to protect people, processes and the environment by providing solutions that combine clean air with energy efficiency in a sustainable way. Our processes are well integrated, compliant and streamlined with applicable standards.

In order to be able to continue our services, we have taken the necessary measures to adhere to our business commitments and remain at the service of our customers.

Our customer service & logistics department remains at your service during the usual opening hours.  

You are very welcome to contact us with any query you may have, preferably via e-mail in order to guarantee the most efficient follow-up.


Stay tuned on Camfil Belgium's delivery times

In regards to our commitment to deliver the requested products, we have the following update which is based on Belgium’s situation on April 3rd, 2020. You will receive updates when the following situation changes:

Deviation in lead-time for groupage due to restriction of warehouse and domestic activities. 
No guarantees on lead-time for LTL/FTL due to reduced capacity and lockdown.

To be able to continue our activities, we must receive confirmation with every order that the loading and unloading location of your premises is still open.

 

Good practices for filter maintenance

Based on an article provided by Eurovent, Europe's Industry Association for Indoor Climate (HVAC), Process Cooling, and Food Cold Chain Technologies, we can provide you with the following guidelines on how to operate during times of COVID-19

Source: https://eurovent.me/?q=articles/covid-19-recommendations-air-filtration-and-ventilation-eme-gen-2000400

Air Filtration

The selection of air filters depends on the application environment and should be carefully assessed. While regular air filters are not designed to prevent the spread of viruses, they are essential in minimising the risk as viruses tend to attach to airborne particulate matter and aerosols. Thus, regular filters with a high filtration efficiency (ePM1 filters) are crucial to reduce the risk of diseases transmitted through the air. HEPA filters (High Efficiency Particulate Air) are mandatory in critical environments such as hospitals and healthcare facilities and can be also recommended for medium risk environments (high density of people) like airports, schools or other public spaces.

In light of the COVID-19 problematic to severely affect the elderly and people with existing medical conditions, it is also recommended to use HEPA filters in all facilities designed to support, help, house or care for these groups. In general, the industry recommends increasing filter efficiencies for the duration of the epidemy.

Other recommendations:

1. Assess the type of building environment and the required air filter category. Comprehensive guidance on filter selection is provided by the Eurovent recommendation 4/23, which can be downloaded free-of-charge at the association’s website: www.eurovent.me

As a guidance:

High Risk Environment

Examples: Laboratories, Hospitals, Isolation Rooms, Quarantine Spaces

Type of filter required: HEPA + Relevant Containment Equipment

Recommendation: Special care needs to be given upon replacement of filters. Treat them as biohazards! (wear protective masks, suits and gloves)

Filter Class as per EN1822:2009 ISO16890: Minimum H14

 

Medium Risk Environment

Examples: Other medical facilities, airports, schools, public areas

Type of filter required: HEPA (recommended) or EPA filters

Recommendation: Special care needs to be given upon replacement of filters. Treat them as biohazards! (wear protective masks, suits and gloves)

Filter Class as per EN1822:2009 ISO16890: Minimum H13

 

Low Risk Environment

Examples: Small offices, businesses, personal space

Type of filter required: EPA (recommended) or Fine Dust Filter

Recommendation: Do not wash filters. Replace regularly.

Filter Class as per EN1822:2009 ISO16890: ePM1 80% or higher

 

2. Replace current air filters in case the filter category is unknown, doesn’t match the requirements stipulated in the recommendation or in case the pressure drop in the ventilation system is exceeding the manufacturer´s guidelines.

3. Only use certified filters with proven efficiency! Certificates issued by Eurovent Certita Certification can be checked online through the following link:
https://www.eurovent-certification.com/en/search-engine#/

4. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters should be mandatory in all healthcare-sensitive environments such as hospitals, clinics, quarantine facilities and ambulances, etc.

5. DO NOT cut or otherwise manipulate air filters to make them fit! Manipulated filters compromise their efficiency and are rendered useless!

6. DO NOT wash any kinds of filters, especially HEPA, EPA or ePM1 filters. Replace them!

Ventilation

The exchange of air in occupied spaces helps to reduce the exposure of people to contaminated air. Thus, an increase in the number of air exchanges is recommended through higher ventilation rates. The industry recommends increasing the fresh air supply and stop or reduce recirculation where possible. With still moderate temperatures prevailing in the Middle East, the penalty on energy consumption is acceptable.

Maintenance

Regular, carefully executed maintenance is essential for the ventilation and air filtration systems to work properly. In light of COVID-19, Eurovent Middle East wants to underline that protective measures for maintenance personnel is of utmost importance.

1. Replacement of filters is to be done using masks and appropriate personal protective equipment.

2. The disposal of filters needs to be done correctly (sealed bags), and in line with local and international standards.

3. HEPA filters need to be treated as biohazardous waste. For critical areas such as quarantine rooms and bio safety labs, providing a safe change Bag-in-Bag-out containment system will not only help protect the environment while maintaining a negative pressure in the room but also help prevent maintenance personnel from being exposed and infected.

 

What is a virus?

Maintaining a good level of hygiene and covering the mouth with a mask are good ways to stay protected but is this enough? There are vaccinations available for some viruses and for others not. The ones where no viable vaccine has been found are more difficult to control and in combination with high infection and mortality rate these can become severe and very difficult to manage pandemics. WHO (World Health Organization) have declared alerts and outbreaks many times in the history due to deadly virus infection and here are few note worthies; In February 2003, Severe Acute respiratory Syndrome (SARS) killed about 1 in 10 people affected. In 40 years of occurrence, Ebola virus has killed 25% to 90% of those infected. Coronavirus (COVID-19) that started in 2019, have more than 200,000 reported cases and this number been growing. 

 

How do they spread?

Millions of viruses dawdle in the air and the surfaces that can easily be transmitted with a simple contact. Bodily fluids like saliva or mucus can get dispersed into air as tiny droplets when someone coughs or sneezes. According to scientists, coughs and sneezes can travel several feet and stay suspended in the air for up to 10 minutes and virus on surface can survive up to four hours at room temperature. Also, airborne transmission through small particles (< 5 microns), which may stay airborne for hours and can be transported long distances. In some cases, virus can spread through ‘zoonosis’ where the host carrying the virus is an animal.

 

When reducing the risk of infection, how important it is to consider the air we breathe indoors?

Maintaining a hygienic and sanitary environment along with protection from those infected are vital as the virus thrives in contaminated conditions. One health worker quoted during Ebola virus outbreak that ‘we are fighting forest fires with a spray bottle’. It is true as the whole system gets affected and battling the damage at the hospital is not enough. We need to reduce the risk of infection at an individual level.

Viruses are usually spread through microorganisms that become airborne. Indoor air contains the most contaminants as it confined and has no space to escape, and air is recycled causing the infections to transmit. Hence, it is more likely to catch infections indoor. 

 

Combat infections in the air

HEPA filters (high-efficiency particulate) have been proven over decades across a wide range of healthcare facilities and life sciences applications, controlling the spread of airborne particles and organisms such as viruses and bacteria. 

Indeed, many professional engineering organisations recommend HEPA air filters in hospitals, infection control clinics and other healthcare facilities to eliminate microbes and other dangerous particles. 

The efficiency of HEPA filters is measured at MPPS (most penetrating particle size) that means this is the lowest efficiency of the filter. For smaller or larger particles that filter will perform even better. MPPS is typically between 0,1-0,2 micrometer in size. Bacteria and viruses are often smaller than that but typically attach themselves to larger particles. It’s also important to understand HEPA filters do not actively kill living organisms. They capture and hold them within the matrix of the filter.  

 

Better care, better hygiene in HVAC

High efficiency air filters can be installed in HVAC systems, filtering out biological pollutants and particulate matter carried by the airstream, preventing them from recirculating back into the room. As unfiltered air flows through the HVAC unit’s ductwork, the air filter captures and holds the airborne pollutants. 

So, for an extra layer of protection from airborne pathogens, consider fitting appropriate HEPA filters. 

 

Virus protection from Camfil

In HVAC units, ventilation system extracts the dust particles, chemical contaminants and harmful virus and bacteria along with other toxic particles. But they do have to go somewhere. Some of this matter gets caught up in the filters or duct-work or elsewhere and remains there. This is bad and can cause serious health risks. To avoid any obstruction, cleaning and maintaining the ventilation system is ideal.  Clean system in good working and hygienic conditions will help clear out toxic particles from the air. In case of an outbreak the first step should be to look if the filters are old and have captured lot of dirt (organic material that could support mold growth). It is recommended to switch to fresh and clean filters immediately and at the same time looking for a possibility to upgrade the filter class. Another good thing would be to check the status of gaskets and other seals to ensure that any by-pass air is eliminated. Depending on the kind of unit and its functionalities it can be done by the professional in different ways. Most critical or high-risk application units use bag in & bag out technique that is performed by an expert as no contact with the filter needs to be made in order to contaminate the pathogens and harmful particles. 

Camfil’s clean air solutions help to eliminate infectious airborne contaminants in the healthcare and microbiological sectors.

 

View our products

For more information about our range of HEPA, EPA and ULPA filters, contact Camfil air filtration expert. 

Neem contact met ons op

keyboard_arrow_up
Heeft u vragen en/of opmerkingen? Neem dan contact met ons op!
Zoek contactpersoon