AiroFresh 1000 Health and Safety Statement

By: Dr Alena Janovska

Photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) and its potential positive effect on human health and comfort

Although environmental pollution had been taking part of human life for a very long time (at least since people started using fire thousands of years ago), it had seen the growth of truly global proportions only since the start of the industrial revolution during the 19th century. Some of the most notable air pollutants are sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter (PM) and airborne particles. Common indoor pollutants are tobacco smoke, PM, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, VOCs (e.g. formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, alkanes, ketones, hydrocarbons etc.), pesticides, biological organisms (fungus, bacteria, viruses) and allergens (dust mites and their faeces, moulds, pollen, animal and human dander, feathers, insects, arachnid excreta). While VOCs can be found in e.g. furniture polish, paints, cleaning products, carpets, office machines, hobby products and cosmetics; biological contaminants occur in plants and animals, bedding, air-conditioning, wet areas like in bathrooms and kitchens etc. More importantly, concentrations of these pollutants can be many times higher indoors than outdoors.

Results of epidemiological studies suggest that respiratory effects are associated with exposure to air pollution. Even at a low concentration, indoor chronic exposure might be responsible for important adverse effects on health like sensitisation, chronic cough, respiratory allergic diseases, i.e. asthma and rhinitis, etc. [1]. In recent decades, especially in the developed world, asthma has increased substantially and right the environmental factors have been suggested as important contributors to this increase. E.g. exposure to mould and tobaccon smoke in the home were shown to be risk factors for asthma and asthma-related respiratory symptoms in middle-aged participants [2], as well as exposure to indoor allergens during the critical postnatal period may lead to sensitization in early childhood of genetically susceptible children. Then the sensitized children are at several-fold higher risk of asthma and allergy [3]. Unfortunately, Australia and New Zealand are countries with the highest asthma prevalence rates in the world. Therefore, specific measures to reduce indoor allergen exposure to reduce the risk of sensitization and symptoms of allergic respiratory disease needed to be discussed [4].

The proven technology of photo catalytic oxidation (PCO) is an exciting new technology for air cleaning. CRT Technology’s AiroFresh 1000 unique design and proprietary coatings have been proven to be especially effective. It is not a filtering technology as it does not trap or remove particles but completely oxidizes and degrades organic contaminants (e.g. the above mentioned VOCs etc., even carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide) and inactivate bacteria and viruses [5, 6]. AiroFresh 1000 uses ultraviolet light which, in the presence of water, reacts with metal oxide-based chemical catalysts (accelerating the reaction) to create hydroxyl radicals and super-oxide ions which oxidize the organic contaminants over and over until only carbon dioxide and water are left.

The CRT Technology, AiroFresh 1000 PCO technology is a powerful purification method, which has the ability to eliminate particles as small as 0.001 microns from air, including the ultrafine penetrating particles that can absorb into lungs and cause damage. It is also able to:

  • Eliminate odours, and therefore can be used in rooms with increased scent or with an increased emphasis on the quality of the re-circulated air, like e.g. hospitals, nursing homes, pet shops, fitness centres, toilets, aircraft etc.
  • Destroy bacteria and viruses, and thus reduces bacterial and viral contamination of air which is highly valuable in the medical field, in scientific laboratories, in the pharmaceutics, areas with high population density or wherever there is a strong requirement for clean surfaces. In addition, the ability to destroy bacteria and VOCs is advantageous in food industry, e.g. in reduction of bacteria during poultry and pork processing, in cleansing pesticides from fruits and vegetables and in extension of life of fresh fruits and vegetables via removing ethylene levels from their storage.
  • Oxidize toxic gas phase VOC pollutants, and so produces benefits in its utilization in homes, schools, offices, dental laboratories, medical areas, care centres, e.g. car factories and repair centres etc.
  • Remove common allergens especially when a whirl of air (for e.g. dust mites and their faeces, mould spores), and a prefilter for larger particles (for e.g. pollen or pet hair) is present, the technology allows for its use in damp areas, bathrooms, saunas and in any of the above mentioned populated areas.

When compared with some other generally used filtration systems, the AiroFresh 1000 PCO technology is a “leader” because

  • The high efficiency particulate absorption (HEPA) filters are only able to filter out particles as small as 0.3 microns thus allowing viruses and gases to be inhaled and travel into the lungs and further to enter the bloodstream. Also, living organisms like bacteria or mould spores can grow after capture on the filter itself and re-contaminate the air during the process of the filter exchange.
  • The ionic air filters release a steady stream of negatively charged ions into the air to electrify dust, dander and other matter in the airstream. Unfortunately, they also cannot eliminate particles down to 0.001 microns and, in addition, are known to release ozone.
  • The electrostatic precipitators are ineffective against odors, gases, biological agents and a particle that cannot be charged.

Having all the information in mind, the potential of AiroFresh 1000 PCO air purification technology, is simply massive.

Dr Alena Janovska

References:

  1. Hulin, M., Simoni, M., Viegi, G., Annesi-Maesano, I., 2012. Respiratory health and indoor air pollutants based on quantitative exposure assessments Eur Respir J 40: 1033 –1045..
  2. Mészáros, D., Burgess, J., Walters, E.H., Johns, D., Markos, J., Giles, G., Hopper, J., Abramson, M., Dharmage, S.C., Matheson, M., 2014. Domestic airborne pollutants and asthma and respiratory symptoms in middle age. Respirology 19 (3): 411 – 8.
  3. Arshad, S.H., 2010. Does exposure to indoor allergens contribute to the development of asthma and allergy? Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 10 (1) : 49 – 55.
  4. Bush, R. K., 2008. Indoor allergens, environmental avoidance, and allergic respiratory disease. Allergy Asthma Proc. 29 (6): 575 – 9.
  5. Goswami, D.Y., Trivedi, D.M., Block, S.S., 1997. Photocatalytic disinfection of indoor air. Journal of Solar Energy Engineering-Transactions of the Asme 119 (1): 92 – 96.
  6. Kűhn, K. P., Chaberny, I. F., Massholder, K., Stickler, M., Benz, V. W., Sonntag H.-G., Erdinger, L., 2003. Disinfection of surfaces by photocatalytic oxidation with titanium dioxide and UVA light. Chemosphere 53: 71 – 77.