The air around us contains microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, moulds, fungi and volatile organic compounds. Some airborne microorganisms create offensive odours, other spread infections and others develop mouldy conditions.
In enclosed spaces airborne microorganisms are deposited on surfaces where they continue to grow creating odours and spreading infections. Standard room cleaning and disinfecting procedures offer temporary solutions, as soon as an area is cleaned/disinfected the microorganisms return and so do the smells and risks of infection. Many places use fragrances which only mask the odours and do not kill the source, the microorganisms, in the air and on surfaces.
Washrooms represent a major hygiene problem in public and private places, faecal coliform contains a lot of harmful microorganisms such as e.coli and bacteria which can cause ear infections, dysentery, typhoid fever, viral and bacterial gastroenteritis and hepatitis A. After using the facilities, many people do not wash their hands properly, compromising hygiene and spreading the problem inside and outside the washroom. Studies by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine showed that one in six mobile phones carried traces of faeces.
In September 2009, the Health Protection Agency's laboratories at Porton Down performed efficacy testing of the AIRsteril MP20 unit's ability to reduce aerosol and surface microbial contamination. The tests showed a reduction of airborne microorganisms of up to 98.11% within five minutes of exposure and a reduction of surface contamination up to 59.47% in one hour, the surface tests included MRSA. The full HPA report is available free of charge on request.
Ultraviolet light was discovered in the late 18th century. There are several types of UV, UV-A and UV-B occur naturally from the sun's rays, AIRsteril technology generates UV-C otherwise known as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI). UGVI is effective in destroying the nucleic acids in microorganisms so that their DNA is disrupted by the UV radiation, leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions.
It was used commercially first in the USA in the 1920's to control TB outbreaks, then when antibiotics were developed it fell out of favour mainly because direct exposure to UV-C can be harmful and its use is subject to regulation. However, the effectiveness of antibiotics is being challenged by resistant pathogens so the interest in the use of UVGI has increased.
An AIRsteril air purifier utilises dual lamp ultraviolet light operating at the peak UVC wavelengths, creating germicidal irradiation, hydroxyl radicals, superoxide ions, plasma quatro and optional Ozone. This process freshens the air by killing airborne pathogens, viruses, bacteria, fungi, mould spores, dust mites, allergens and by decomposing odours and harmful gases.
An AIRsteril unit uses five independent mechanisms. Each mechanism can be individually controlled to create tailor-made solutions to meet specific air purification requirements.
The five technologies are:
- Germicidal irradiation (UV light)
- Heterogeneous catalysis
- Triatomic oxygen sterilization (ozone)
- Plasma quatro
- Super oxide ion generation
Germicidal irradiation kills microorganisms by disrupting their DNA and preventing reproduction. Dual waveband UV technology transforms oxygen into a reactive state, superoxide ions and hydroxyl radicals that are produced in this process are some of the strongest oxidisers known, stronger even than ozone. The negatively charged superoxide ions electrically charge air contaminants as small as 0.01 microns and cause them to form clusters, thus assisting removal from the air and aiding the other processes.
Triatomic oxygen (ozone) produced via a catalyst in the lamp (quartz) eliminates bacteria, viruses, fungi and VOCs in the air as it passes through the AIRsteril unit.
The air leaving the unit holds plasma quatro which consists of a mixture of activated oxygen, triatomic oxygen and superoxide ions, these interact with each other supplying a very efficient purification of the air and all exposed surfaces close by. This unique, groundbreaking process by AIRsteril is much more efficient than ozone or UV light working alone.