Tag Archives: Infection Control

Here’s bad news for your germaphobe friend—you know, the one who buys all the products he can with the “antibacterial” stamp on them. Problem is, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned antibacterial ingredients from soap products, saying that these ingredients do little or nothing to make the soap more effective. What’s more, the FDA also says manufacturers have failed to prove that the ingredients are safe for human use.

And so, the grocery store shelves will soon be devoid of soaps with triclosan and triclocarban, two ingredients that make antibacterial soap, well, antibacterial. The FDA has given notice that manufacturers have one calendar year to remove and replace the ingredients. Soap makers can take an additional year to negotiate the use of other antibacterial ingredients.

“Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in news accounts. “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.” According to the FDA, triclosan is used in more than 2,000 consumer products, so the ban is far reaching.

So what are facility managers to do now that their supplies of restroom soaps will be devoid of the antibacterial ingredients? How about tackling germs at the source?

AeraMax® Professional commercial air purifiers not only eliminate odors in bathroom settings, but germs, viruses, allergens and pathogens lurking in the air; in fact, AeraMax Professional air purifiers can remove up to 99.97 % of contaminants from the air with its four-stage, hospital-type filtration.


By removing germs from the air, facility managers can help reduce dependence on antibacterial soaps, while improving overall indoor air quality. Best yet, AeraMax Professional commercial air purifiers come in a variety of sizes to accommodate the square footage of many common spaces. And, all feature EnviroSmart™ Technology, which senses when air needs to be clean. That way, facility managers can reduce energy usage while protecting building occupants from airborne germs and viruses.

The creation of the atomic bomb was at least good for something.

In the 1940s, when the super-secret push to build the world’s first atom bomb began in earnest, Manhattan Project engineers needed a way to capture radioactive particles suspended in the air during experiments. They devised a filter composed of a series of arranged fibers, with the aim of trapping particulate in the air through a vacuum or ventilation system.  And so, the High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance Filter—or HEPA filter—was born. And it’s what makes a commercial grade air purifier truly tick.

So what makes a HEPA filter so special?

It’s all in the mat and the weave of fibers in the filter itself. HEPA filters use hundreds of thousands of fiberglass fibers—incredibly small and sticky for particles that try to pass through them.

This tight weave of fibers then captures particles larger than 0.3 microns in size. For a frame of reference, a human hair is anywhere from 50 to 100 microns in diameter, so we’re taking about unbelievably small particles being trapped in the fiberglass fibers. The weave of a HEPA filter then allows air to pass through, with germs, volatile organic compounds and allergens like dust and pollen, trapped inside.

HEPA filters capture all that crud three different ways: through Interception, Impaction and Diffusion. With Interception, the path of particles is interrupted by the weave of the filter and the fibers intercept the particles, making them stick to the fiber.

With Impaction, the particles crash into the fibers, sticking to them. And with Diffusion, small particles slam into each other, causing them to veer off course in airflow and stick to the fibers of the HEPA filter. That’s why HEPA filters have a waffle-like appearance—the irregular shapes cause all sorts of havoc with airborne tiny particles, making them collide.

One thing to note, however: there are HEPA pretenders out there. In order to be a real HEPA filter though, a filter needs to be able to capture the particles larger than 0.3 microns in size. Then, the HEPA filter captures 99.97 percent of all airborne contaminants. Like the complete line of AeraMax Professional commercial grade air purifiers.