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Airborne Pathogen Threat Reduced Thanks to Productivity Programme

A study undertaken by The University of Lincoln has revealed that airborne pathogens in an office environment can be significantly reduced by the use of effective air purification systems.

The report was commissioned by Intratek, providers of some of the world leading air purification systems, and shows that the levels of airborne micro-organisms can be reduced by around 50% with an effective air purification system. This project was fully funded thanks to The Productivity Programme which is a European Regional Development Fund Programme.

The independent investigation by the University of Lincoln into the efficacy of Intratek’s biocidal air handling unit looked at differences in the levels of microbial growth between treated and untreated air. The University’s scientific team found statistically-significant differences when the air handling unit was operational and concluded that, on average, bacterial counts dropped by half and fungal counts reduced by around two thirds when the unit was in an office location.

The report is of particular significance considering the threat posed in the workplace by airborne pathogens, including respiratory viruses such as COVID-19, although reductions in viral particles were not tested as part of the University of Lincoln’s study. The law requires employers to ensure an adequate supply of fresh air in the workplace as well as good ventilation. This, coupled with social distancing and frequent handwashing, are some of the key measures employers need to introduce if they are to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus in the workplace.

Good ventilation reduces the concentration of pathogens in the air and therefore reduces the risks from airborne transmission. This happens when people breathe in small particles (aerosols) that can be present in the air after someone with a virus has occupied an enclosed area. During the cold winter months, providing adequate ventilation can pose a challenge when trying to keep employees warm. Using an effective air purification system can help provide clean air without the cold.

The Tiokraft products, sold by Intratek Ltd, use a patented photocatalytic filtration system that is designed to service the maximum amount of contaminated air. The systems eliminate pathogens and microflora by the photocatalytic process of oxidation. Unlike most purification machines, Tiokraft therefore do not use replaceable particulate absorbing filters which can clog up and need changing once a month on average. Tiokraft products need no maintenance so the overall lifetime cost is reduced significantly.

Matthew Alexander, Director at Intratek, comments: “This research should be a welcome boost for businesses looking to provide a safer worker environment for employees. The government’s advice on ensuring clean air helps reduce the risk of pathogens spreading and our air purification systems are now proven to remove microorganisms from air in a real world office environment.”

In the study, air treated by Intratek’s biocidal air handling unit was tested twice daily over a 22 day period. The report concluded that there was an, “Overall reduction seen in bacterial and fungal counts as a function of air handling. This has led to an overall reduction seen in bacterial / fungal counts taken from an office environment.”

Intratek are leaders in fresh ideas and new, affordable technology. The company works across the business, education and manufacturing sectors, offering a range of products to suit budgets and business requirements. For more information visit www.intratekltd.com.

If you’re interested in finding out how The Productivity Programme can help your business with funding and expert knowledge for research, please get in contact via the contact form.