Standardized testing of filter systems regarding their separation efficiency in terms of allergenic particles and airborne germs

J. Mertl*, OFI – Austrian Research Institute for Chemistry and Technology, Austria; A. Wiegers, S.Denninger, Daimler AG; K.C. Bergmann, European Centre For Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF); U. Häfner, Freudenberg Filtration Technologies SE & Co. KG, Germany

Airborne germs and allergens in indoor air rank among the most important environmental risk factors for human health resulting in inflammatory diseases of the airways, such as asthma or allergic rhinitis. Currently, on average every second person in the western world will suffer from an allergy at some point during his life. Besides medical treatment methods, the simple prevention of allergen contact is the most effective allergy protection strategy. As each person spends about 80 to 90% of his life in an indoor environment, air conditioning and ventilation devices have to meet very high standards regarding the separation of bioactive substances.

Filter systems are generally tested using well defined mineral test dusts in order to obtain information regarding separation rates for certain particle sizes. However, from the separation rates for these mineral dust particles no direct conclusion on allergens and germs can be drawn. The separation efficiency of particularly fine, respirable particles (smaller than 10 microns) is beside their particle diameter and shape, also defined by density and physicochemical properties. Numerous studies have shown that not only the intact pollen but also much finer particle fractions show an allergenic effect, which due to their potential for lung deposition, may even pose an added health risk to humans. In this context, particulates (fine dust) also seem to play an important role as carrier for allergenic proteins. However, filtration tests with dust from the environment are not sufficiently standardized and can therefore not be used for the classification of filters.

In cooperation with the filter manufacturer Freudenberg, the OFI developed a test system that allows a standardised testing of filters regarding the separation of bioactive substances....

Session: G10 - Short Oral + Poster Presentations
Day: 12 October 2016
Time: 14:45 - 16:45 h

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