NEWS RELEASE                                                                                     March 2020

Innovation to the Rescue

Industry has the potential to innovate and make a big contribution to coronavirus mitigation. Countless hours have been spent to perfect monitoring and particulate removal techniques to keep our air clean.  Equal amounts have been spent to protect our pharmaceutical products through sophisticated cleanroom technology.  We are now facing an even bigger threat and our primary solution is social distancing and shutting down the economy. There is a better solution.

There is a shocking lack of hard information about the fundamental science. The filtration and monitoring industry needs to take a proactive rather than reactive approach. Some of the advice we have been receiving is questionable at least.

Conventional Wisdom

The Facts

Masks won’t protect you

If someone coughs in your face you are much safer with a mask on.

Viruses expire quickly

They can remain viable for days

Virus will not travel long distances

An aerosol < 5 microns in size will travel a long way

The big danger is large cough droplets

Small aerosols can deeply penetrate the lungs. The danger has not been fully evaluated.

There are innovative solutions which need to be implemented.  A webinar on Thursday, March 26 will address them.

Some Asian countries have used technology to be proactive. They have tested extensively and tracked movements and contacts of those infected. As early as January 1 the Taiwan Railway Administration said that if the virus continues to spread it would refuse to carry passengers not wearing masks.

Many Asian countries have very efficient air filtration systems in buildings and residences.  Monitoring has progressed to where electronic screens provide the current PM 2.5 concentrations.  Is it possible that one reason there are more deaths in Italy than China is the better indoor air filtration?

The irony is that the countries with the worst outdoor pollution may be better off.  The more efficient indoor air filtration systems are reducing transmission through HVAC systems.

The facts versus conventional wisdom make it clear that filtration and monitoring technology can make a big difference.  Here are a few of the potential innovations.

  • Use PM2.5 as a surrogate for the virus and expand the monitoring to individual indoor spaces. PM2.5 is already used as a surrogate for heavy metals by U.S EPA. The assumption is that if the filter captures all the particles it will capture the lead and cadmium.
  • Require all those in quarantine to rent room air purifiers and reduce PM 2.5 to the equivalent of 10 air changes per hour or some other suitable number.
  • Use small air purifiers throughout sensitive areas. (the Chinese have $50 fans with a HEPA filter for small areas)
  • Require air purifiers in public transportation including ride sharing and taxis. (A fundamental cleanroom technology principle is to capture particles while airborne so that they do not deposit on surfaces.)
  • Utilize various destruction methods including ozone and UV light. (A Florida hospital has reduced HAI by 34% since implementing the use of a footwear sanitizing station)
  • Improve mask technology to increase comfort, lower pressure drop and increase capture efficiency.
  • Develop improved microbial sampling techniques.
  • Utilize advanced cleanroom technology in critical hospital areas
    • HEPA filtered entry zones such as gowning areas for hospital personnel
    • Require operating theaters to use 100% HEPA filtered air and 100 fpm ceiling to perforated floor flow
    • Radically revise gowning protocols including quality of gowns, face masks, gloves etc.
    • Use cleanroom protocols for gown donning and disposal
    • Reduce investments in hospital decoration and eliminate pockets of virus growth
    • Turn isolation rooms into Class 100 cleanrooms.
    • Provide hospital wide contamination monitoring systems
  • Utilize portable cleanrooms for emergency overflows of patients requiring isolation (Australian hospitals have them)

All of these possible innovations and additional ones offered by participants will be discussed in a webinar March 26 at 10:AM CST. Click here for more information

Bob McIlvaine can answer your questions at 847 226 2391 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.