The science has historically and is in today’s pandemic informing regulators, institutions, and policy makers that we must improve ventilation rates of clean air within indoor environments to decontaminate the air that prevails there-in from any hazard or bio-load that builds up within that space from airborne pathogens. Coronavirus is an airborne virus and its bio-load or specifically for this pathogen, its viral-load, builds up indoors from an infected person breathing in the same way cigarette smoke builds up in a room with a person smoking. But its invisible!
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) make it clear that ventilation is critical to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection. One must have “adequate ventilation” (see below) to remove hazardous contaminants (decontamination) such as bio-load or viral load for Coronavirus; or if not practicable, deploy air cleaning devices such as Ultraviolet based devices and/or HEPA Filters.
However, many buildings do not possess or cannot maintain adequate levels of ventilation and, in this case, the HSE recommends the use of air cleaners to reduce airborne transmission risk.
The proposed Building Regulations update, designed to tackle the pandemic and beyond, state that the new standard for ventilation is 10-15 litres per second per person .
The proposed regulations also state that “buildings should have the ability to provide adequate outdoor air to all occupied spaces without recirculating air within spaces or between different spaces, rooms or zones, unless the ventilation system has an ultraviolet filter, HEPA filter or other germicidal filter.”*
*(Approved Document F volume 2 – consultation version – January 2021 (publishing.service.gov.uk)
Other guidance from institutions and guidance from around the world points towards a minimum or equivalent of 6 Air Changes per Hour (6ACH) of clean uncontaminated air. At 6ACH, the ventilation system is decontaminating air by 95% in 34 minutes. This is a significant reduction in risk!
PP-L’s devices exceed these clean air standards, typically providing 10-20 equivalent air changes per hour, well in excess of guidance and at the fore of safe pathogen risk reduction technologies.
Air cleaning is a term now used by Regulators and Institutions for a range of technologies that clean, purify, sanitise or, disinfect and generally, are devices that are intended to improve air quality by removing or inactivating contaminants in indoor air. Air cleaners generally target a wide range of indoor airborne pollutants (particulate matter, dust, volatile organic compounds, pathogens- fungal spores, viruses, bacteria) and whilst many of the technologies such as Ultraviolet based devices and HEPA Filters, have been used for decades, interest in them has grown considering the COVID-19 pandemic because the coronavirus that causes this disease is an airborne virus in its main transmission.
Types often marketed as “suitable” in the current pandemic include:
- high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters or other mechanical filters
- ultra-violet germicidal irradiation (GUV or UVGI)
The following are not supported by Institutions and Regulators
- thermal or photocatalytic oxidation
- ion generation
- plasma devices
- electrostatic precipitation
The world has taken 18 months to assess the transmission priorities and how the virus works. In the summer of 2021, the world’s leading institution on disease prevention and control, the CDC, have undertaken quantitative microbial risk assessment studies have suggested that the risk of fomite (surfaces) transmission of COVID-19 is generally low, with a less than one in 10,000 chance that contact with a contaminated surface would cause an infection.
Indeed, the WHO said in July 2021, “Despite consistent evidence as to SARS-CoV-2 contamination of surfaces and the survival of the virus on certain surfaces, there are no specific reports which have directly demonstrated fomite transmission.”
Cleaning and good hygiene is not a complete waste of time or money, it is still important but given what we know now, one should perhaps, in simplistic terms, think of the 80:20 rule in terms of capital investment to succeed better in reducing infection risk – no less than 80% of your efforts in respect of ventilation and air cleaning and the rest, 20% maximum on hygiene efforts.
Germicidal UV-C is, indeed, chemical free disinfection. It is light but a special type where Ultraviolet light of a short wavelength (254nm) is emitted to inactivate/kill micro-organisms by disrupting the very building blocks of the pathogen’s existence- their nucleic acids. This ultraviolet light dismantles their RNA and DNA, therefore destroying their structures and neutralising them. This is also known as Germicidal Ultraviolet (GUV). The inactivation of a pathogen is virtually instant upon exposure and continues constantly destroying the pathogen hazard if the light is on.
Yes – Studies and tests over the decades demonstrate that GUV light totally inactivates coronavirus’, MERS, SARS, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and even chemically & vaccine resistant pathogens like MRSA, C.Dif; in fact all viruses, bacteria and spores which are harmful to humans.
Coronavirus is amongst the easiest micro-organism’s to destroy.
We design our solutions to destroy Influenza A which requires several times more UV-C energy than the SARS-CoV-2 Covid19 virus. This ensures also that the solution we specify for you gives long term protection against whatever may come in the future. We create Pandemic Resilience.
We design and specify our products to suit each occupational environment and pathogenic risk and safety is our priority. The devices are easily installed and maintained. PP-L’s products and solutions are carefully engineered and positioned so that they can run 24/7 with people safely going about their everyday life in such a way that human or animal tissue cannot come into direct contact with UV-C light exposure. We do not take any risks with safety and whilst direct UV-C light exposure for a few minutes will mildly affect the skin and eyes, we remove that risk entirely.
The way we do this with the majority of our solutions is that the GUV filaments sit with a protective stainless-steel casing and the air is drawn over the filaments in that casing to create clean, purified air safely.
The installation of HEPA filters in central HVAC systems or air handling units (AHUs) may require a significant and costly plant upgrade; or if the mechanical ventilation systems can accommodate the use of HEPA Filters, these will increase energy consumption and operational costs; these may impact noise levels, and filters will require more regular and more expensive maintenance.
Many existing systems may not be suitable for retrofitting with HEPA filters due to the large pressure drop or leakage around the filter they can induce in the system. This could lead to the ventilation rate decreasing if the system is improperly designed or poorly maintained. This is counter productive because we want more air changes per hour to decontaminate airborne pathogens quicker.
Advice from a specialist engineer is therefore highly recommended before deciding on the replacement or upgrade of filters in an existing mechanical vent system.
Alternatively, portable HEPA Filters are becoming popular, but we recommend only medical or military grade quality because they are much more effective and resilient. All HEPA type filters are cost effective initially to buy but do still require regular maintenance and filter changes. Changing potentially hazardous bio-contaminated filters requires a trained personnel and safe bio-containment environments. Also, if accidentally knocked over, this will disturb or release potentially harmful biofilm or particulate into the air unless the filter is turned off immediately. It will then need to be redundant and needs to be suitably disposed of or an expensive decontamination of all the device components will be needed to be undertaken and certified as safe for re-use.
GUV air disinfection systems and HEPA Filtration have been used for decades to ensure the cleanest, air in laboratories, food processing facilities and hospitals around the world and are recognised as a highly effective, safe, and reliable method of infection prevention and control.
We have extensive data from laboratory tests with our HEPA products and for the GUV devices, proving them capable of not only disinfection (99.99% virus inactivation) of air and surface but capable of sterilisation (99.9999% virus inactivation) against thousands of pathogens. We also have extensive data and case studies supporting the significant impact of our GUV solutions in real world applications to control or prevent infection from harmful pathogens in clinical, high risk and conventional settings.
As Biosafety consultants and product suppliers, we only specify world leading technologies from manufacturers with the highest provenance. They must be best in class. You can be confident that the quality and performance of our solutions, whether for air ventilation, air purification, air filtration, or UV-C air disinfection, are amongst the best to be found from around the world.
We are an approved supplier to the NHS and the public sector for the provision of air purification technologies which have been technically assessed and approved. We are also listed on the British Government’s “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Group of Key Suppliers” in our specialist field, providing pandemic resilience.
All products are compliant with EU and British regulatory requirements: CE Marked, ISO9001 and ISO14001 and have been validated to the highest standards.
Smaller pathogen droplets, micro-droplets, and droplet nuclei (aerosols) can remain in an air system or surrounding air for up to 3 hours if the air in a room remains undisturbed, and they can remain for much longer in damp chilled environments, such as food factories. These aerosols can also travel several metres indoors due to air currents. If ventilation is inadequate, the risk of infection is accelerated.
Our GUV systems ensure that air is constantly disinfected by inactivating any harmful airborne microbes such as Coronavirus and other airborne pathogens.
Our HEPA Filter systems do just that – filter and trap airborne pathogens such as fungal spores, bacteria, and viruses whether in naked or desiccated form.
Yes – coupled with following the HSE’s guidelines, with sound management practices supporting the risk assessment, GUV will assist you to create as safe a workplace environment as is reasonably practicable, as the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA)also requires.
You will be compliant with those legal requirements and also The Workplace (health, safety and welfare) Regulations 1992 which requires adequate ventilation. These regulations and the HSWA have not changed, indeed, the coronavirus hazard now is known to be primarily an airborne transmission risk and one that is here to stay, that “we must learn to live with”, raises the bar significantly for what firms must do now to be compliant.
By using GUV and/or HEPA Filter technology to clean and purify the air in your workspace, you are showing your employees, colleagues, suppliers, visitors, and clients that you are treating their safety and well-being as paramount.
Reducing the risk of airborne transmission of pathogens means that you are helping protect your stakeholders from COVID-19 and other illnesses which can disrupt your business operations and lead to sickness, absences, or closures.
Alongside supporting your ability to be compliant with regulations, our solutions can help to increase your stakeholder’s peace of mind, so they feel more relaxed in your premises, confident in the knowledge that they are being better protected.
Our UV-C surface disinfection technology decontaminates all surfaces within view of the UV-C fittings within a matter of minutes. However, surface disinfection must be undertaken in the absence of people or animals because direct exposure to UV-C is not what we permit. Disinfecting workspaces after hours or between shifts or on timers ensures that the workspace is highly covid-secure for people to come into the next time allocated.
Surface disinfection of medical instruments, infection sensitive objects, products, goods or return items is easy with our UV-C surface irradiation units too. We can design and manufacture specialist GUV disinfection conveyor tunnels or cabinets bespoke to most common user requirement specifications.
We are not just suppliers of products; our specialist team of Chartered Engineers, Scientists and Medical experts can design the solutions for your organisation and specify the products that are tailored and dedicated for your occupational environment, risks and your organisations’ needs, ensuring they are located and installed to ensure optimum performance in reducing the risk within your facilities.
Yes – We have all appropriate Employers’, Public and Product Liability Insurances.
Yes – We provide a 2 Year Warranty on all products.
Whilst our UV-C filaments have a life of 17,000 hours, we recommend an operational life of 12,000 hours ( almost 3 years if running 12 hours/day)
No – We are sure that you will be pleasantly surprised at how cost effective our solutions are. Please contact us and we will design an infection prevention solution that will help to create a safer environment, based on your budget, free of charge, on a no obligation basis, all to suit your risk and user requirements.
For certain clients, we can also facilitate lease purchase solutions.
No – They cost the same to run than a standard low energy light bulb. It’s pence per day to protect yourself, your visitors, and your business operations.
We can fit products into liquids, such as in water systems to sterilise the drinking water or to reduce biohazard in wastewater sewage.
Devices can be used for mobile equipment such as conveyor belts, and we have developed transport solutions too.
The list of possible applications is vast, and we can design UV-C solutions that are suited to your specific needs.