Element’s New Air Treatment Testing Facility Supports Indoor Space Public Health Air Quality

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Element has opened a new 7500-ft3 facility that will be used to evaluate aerosolized product efficacy for reducing airborne organisms and viral particles.

In November 2022, Element Materials Technology, a global testing, inspection, and certification company, unveiled its newest bioaerosol testing facility at its Eagan, Minn., site. The facility is designed to evaluate the efficacy of aerosolized products to reduce or eliminate indoor airborne organisms and viral particles in habitable spaces (e.g., transportation, hospitals, and schools). According to a Nov. 16, 2022 company press release, the facility is one of the first and largest post-pandemic, commercial bioaerosol testing facilities.

The 7500-ft3 Eagan facility offers real-world modeling of habitable spaces, such as hospitals, schools, and other large spaces, and houses a biocontainment lab that can be used in dual or single capacity, which allows for simultaneous testing of control and treated space under the same conditions. The lab also offers various size configurations, including 107 m3 and 214 m3, among other sizes. In addition, the lab can manage multiple air-handling scenarios, including the introduction of fresh or recirculated air. It has the capacity to test biosafety level 2 organisms, including mammalian viruses.

Because the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is aiming to release guidance for air treatments in 2022 or early 2023, Element has played an instrumental role in developing a standard test method for EPA-approved public health claims for air treatments, according to the company press release. Element is collaborating with regulatory, academic, and industry experts on developing these standard test methods.

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“The need for bioaerosols was defined by the pandemic, and Element is pleased to bring the industry this new, much-needed capability to fulfill emerging and critical testing needs. Precise and accurate air quality testing will be critical for public health for the future,” said Elisabeth Lackner, chief scientific officer of Element, in the press release. “We are helping customers to establish purposefully designed bioaerosol R&D level protocols that provide a strong foundation for future GLP [good laboratory practice]-compliant testing.”

Source: Element Materials Technology