Plasma Air’s Bipolar Ionization Works to Clean the Air of Viruses and Bacteria.
BiPolar Ionization vs Airborne Pathogens
Available Techniques for Purifying Indoor Air:
There are currently several technologies on the market that are useful to varying degrees for the purification of air and the maintenance of IAQ, allowing for reduction of infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses and fungi, as well as reduction in allergens and other particulates, especially useful in hospitals and other medical facilities. If we can greatly reduce or prevent an infection from occurring, we do not have to worry about antibiotic resistance or other problematic aspects of treating them. In a similar way reducing or eliminating allergens may more positively affect the 6th leading cause of chronic disease in the U.S. –allergies and asthma. These IAQ purification techniques are listed as follows in order of decreasing efficacy: Bi-Polar Ionization, PCO/PCI (photo-catalytic oxidation) technology, Needle-point Ionization, HEPA Air Filters, UV Light, Electrostatic precipitation. Of the aforementioned, there is only
one technology that satisfies all of the tenants for providing clean indoor air quality for an entire building, which uses low energy, is effective against bacteria, viruses, and mold fungi (whether in air or on surfaces), neutralizes particulates, breaks down VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) eliminates unpleasant odors, eliminates static electricity, and produces no chemical or harmful by-products and this is accomplished by the production of positive and negative ions (bipolar ionization). That system is Bipolar Ionization, a leading manufacturer being PlasmaAir.
Bipolar ionization is created when an alternating voltage source (AC) is applied to a glass tube with two electrodes. When voltage is applied to the tubes electrodes (like electricity is applied to a light bulb’s filament) an ionization field is produced around the tube (just as light is produced from the light bulb). However the ionization cannot be seen but its presence will result in “mountain air” freshness. Such ions occur naturally especially on mountain tops and waterfalls, where the production of both positive and negative ions purify the air. Such a system has significant commercial and industrial applications. The airflow distributes the energized ions into all spaces served by the duct system in an in-duct installation or into the application space if a standalone is used. The beauty of this system is just how easily it integrates into existing commercial and residential HVAC systems. Unlike most air purification systems BiPolar Ionization seeks out particulates and contaminants, including germs and does not wait for pollutants to find their way into the filter within the air handler. Instead charged ions go to the contaminants in the space where you breathe, just as in nature, and do so in a continuous fashion and with continuous disinfection. These positively and negatively charged ions have an effect on dust particles, allergen VOC’s, odors, and bacteria, viruses, molds and mold spores. For example, regarding particles— oppositely charged ions cause particles to attract to other particles and become bigger and heavier, by a process called “agglomeration”. These bigger heavier particles can now be better trapped by HVAC system filters so the filters operate more efficiently. Also many small particles that are generated within a space by people and their activities may never get to system filters and ordinarily stay suspended in air for long periods and can be breathed in, increasing the chance of illness and respiratory distress. The bipolar ion process will drop these to the floor quickly taking them away from where we breathe. VOC’s or gaseous chemical off gasses typically cause odors and irritations. These are also a major source of “Sick Building Syndrome” complaints, where people feel ill at work but feel better when they leave the building. Bi-Polar ions break down hydrocarbon chains that make up these complex compounds into immeasurable levels of carbon dioxide and water vapor. On micro-organisms like bacteria, virus and molds, bipolar ions will interrupt the reproductive ability of these organisms so rather than colony forming units (cfu) increasing and spreading and expanding, they shrink away and lessen the chance of infection.
See the figures below, which pictorially help explain this process:
Mechanism for Inactivating Airborne Virus The positive (H+) and negative (O2-) ions surround the hemagglutinin (surface proteins that form on organisms and trigger infections) and change into highly reactive OH groups called hydroxyl radicals (•OH). These take a hydrogen molecule from the hemagglutinin and change into water (H2O). The ions destroy the virus surface structure, for example its envelopes and spikes, on a molecular level. As a result, the virus cannot infect even if it enters the body.
This technology accomplishes these benefits by sizing systems that consist of one of more bi-polar ion tubes, to the airflow rate of the HVAC system and the particulars of the space. The system then saturates the spaces with adequate quantities of bi-polar ions to ensure these reactions can occur. One advantage to the way the BiPolar technology is applied is that it requires no reengineering of the HVAC system, requires no continual adjustment or maintenance except a replacement of the bi-polar ion tube every 2 years. In laboratory testing these systems have shown significant contaminant reduction capabilities. The active process of the ions saturating the space to get to the source of contamination shows great efficiency when compared to passive technologies that must bring the contaminant to the device to be affected.
See the below chart of comparison testing of CADR rate (Clean Air Delivery Rate):
BiPolar systems have shown good performance on dust particles, VOC’s and microorganisms both in air and on surfaces.
How We Make Each Other Sick:
There are available techniques for cleaning indoor air, but in order to better understand these options it is imperative to first discuss the dynamics of how we make each other sick. The great majority of human infections, about 80%, are transmitted by direct and indirect contact, and the remaining 20% of infections are transmitted by 3 other modalities, namely, common source (contaminated food or drink), arthropod vectors (such as 1 mosquitoes and ticks), and true airborne droplets (particles 5 micrometers or less, which is 5 millionths of a meter in size, and which do not readily drop to the affect of gravity. Infections such as tuberculosis, SARS and influenza can be spread in this way.
For contact spread the perspective host must have actual contact with the source of germs. Such contact can be direct, indirect or via aerosol droplets. An easy to understand example of direct contact is shaking hands or kissing someone who has a cold, which can easily spread that cold virus to you. Coughing, sneezing or talking (are aerosols which usually spread within a few feet from the source and the victim) in the face of another person in close proximity can also spread their germs directly to that person. On the other hand, indirect contact spread is distinguished from direct contact transmission by an intermediate object, usually an inanimate object like a doorknob or other surface that a contagious person has touched or contaminated very recently, then afterwards, you touch it and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth or an opening in the skin which are the conduits of entry into your body.
Airborne spread implies the spread of germs over a distance of more than several feet between the source and the victim. The infectious organisms are usually contained in droplet nuclei, which are 5 micrometers in diameter (5 millionths of a meter) or smaller in size. These particles can remain suspended in air for hours or days and do not easily fall to the forces of gravity. The classic example of airborne spread is the transmission of the tuberculosis bacillus by means of droplet nuclei. Another organism spread via airborne is influenza, and yet another virus called SARS. We also learned in the post-911 anthrax attacks on NYC and elsewhere that the spores of anthrax also travel well in the air and can be kicked-up, so to speak, in particles and dust.
Recently there was a report of a leaky dust filled vacuum cleaner, contaminated with Salmonella, which got re-suspended in the air each time the vacuum cleaner was turned on thereby infecting and re-infecting the household members. What is important to understand is that dust particles can carry germs but they can also carry allergens. According to the CDC allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic disease in the U.S. at a cost of about $18 Billion all told. An interesting statistic often quoted is that the average 1500 sq. ft. house accumulates about 40 pounds of dust over a year. And there are approximately 40,000 dust mites and debris that are contained in every ounce of dust. Breathing in such air can exacerbate existing allergies including asthma. Some ill health effects may show up shortly after a single exposure to pollutants in indoor air while some people can become sensitized to biological or chemical pollutants after repeated exposure. Other ill health effects may show up either years after exposure has occurred, or after repeated periods of exposure to poor indoor air quality.
Anywhere there is a building or facility that houses numerous people over an extended period of time, there is an unquestionable need to provide and/or maintain the quality of the indoor air. This is especially so for hospitals, medical centers, and other medical facilities, because this is where most of the antibiotic resistant bacteria reside and where many sick people are housed. As previously mentioned 80% of all infectious diseases are transmitted by direct and indirect contact. This issue is especially important in hospitals where caregivers can contribute to unnecessary illness and even deaths. According to the CDC there are almost a million nosocomial (hospital acquired) infections that occur every year as well as about 75,000 deaths from these infections at a cost to society of about $4 billion annually. Nosocomial infections, especially those caused by highly antibiotic resistant germs, kill more people every year than pancreatic cancer, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s combined. These diseases are the subjects of large public-relations campaigns to raise awareness and solicit funds to combat them. Yet nothing as robust exists for nosocomial infections. Certainly antibiotics have saved millions of lives over the past 65 years or so, and will save countless others in the decades to come but in one sense the world’s antibiotic use has been a 65 year experiment in self-sabotage. The selective ability to develop antibiotic drug resistance has allowed us to create more and more dangerous germs. Misuse of wonder drugs has created superbugs. Nowhere are superbugs more prevalent than in hospitals and medical facilities. It is of the utmost importance to prevent infection in anyway and everyway we can (including use of technology that can maintain indoor air quality), so as not to be faced with a treatment dilemma. BiPolar Ionization can be that added measure to reduce possible spread of infections while also providing much cleaner and healthier air within the space.
Plasma Air solutions use bipolar ionization technology to proactively purify indoor air at the source of contamination by producing a natural bio-climate rich in positive and negative oxygen ions. The negative ions contain an extra electron while the positive ions are missing an electron resulting in an unstable condition. In an effort to re-stabilize, these bipolar ions seek out atoms and molecules in the air to trade electrons with, effectively neutralizing and destroying bacteria and virus cells.
As virus and bacteria cells attempt to reproduce, they bond with positive and negative ions and are immediately destroyed.
NOTE: Due to the small size of viruses, many filtration technologies are unable to trap viral particles. As Bipolar Ionization is a non-selective, rapid killing technology, it offers a unique and safe solution to kill airborne viruses 24/7, reducing the risk of disease and infectious outbreaks.
Novaerus Portable Air Dis-Infection Units
Defend 1050 and Protect 900 Viral Testing
Defend 1050 and Protect 900 Viral Testing
Plasma Air’s Novaerus portable, medical grade units harness patented Plasma DBD technology. This technology has been independently tested against a range of viruses, showing consistent kill rates across both enveloped and non-enveloped strains.
NOTE: An important highlight is our testing against MS2 Bacteriophage, a commonly used surrogate for SARS-CoV (Coronavirus).
There are many different types of viruses in existence due to the variety of genomic structures. Viruses contain more structural genomic diversity than plants, animals, archaea, or bacteria.
It is not possible for us to test against all types of viruses. We have therefore selected to test a range of viruses that are pathogenic to humans. We have also selected certain viruses that act as surrogates for other viruses that are too dangerous to be tested. These include enveloped and nonenveloped classes.
The table below shows the range of viruses we have tested, along with the common surrogates associated with each virus.
This patented plasma technology rapidly destroys pathogens using a combination of physical reactions (electroporation, electron bombardment, etching etc).
NOTE: This has been tested and proven in independent testing carried out by the NASA Ames Research Centre, California.
This process is not selective in its destruction. Given the rapid and consistent kill rates achieved using Novaerus, it is reasonable to anticipate that our plasma technology will show similar impact and rapid kill rates across all viral particles.
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