Philter News

APRIL 2009 
Antimicrobial Additives in Filters
Phil Maybee, CAFS
Past President NAFA (National Air Filtration Association) 
The use of antimicrobial additives to filters started several years ago when a couple of companies found that the addition helped to thwart the growth of visible mold on the filter media. As a result the ensuing years brought about all kinds of ridiculous claims by filter companies and sales personnel. This led to a research study that was funded by ASHRAE to evaluate the performance of antimicrobial additives in filters.  Unfortunately the research project was designed to show that antimicrobial additives do not work. This was accomplished by controlling the test parameters to create failing end results.   
At that time the testing facility was supplied filters that were purchased on the "open market" that were advertised to have antimicrobial treatment added to them. This was never verified, and the method of addition was not verified per "manufacturers' specifications". As expected the filters did not show any benefit from antimicrobial treatment. It was later found that the companies that supplied filters had several inconsistencies:
1 - The filter company was not licensed to use the antimicrobial advertised in the filter
2 - The antimicrobial additive was not added at the filter fabrication point as designed by the makers of the antimicrobial for optimum function
3 - The fibers were treated prior to being made into media - which means that when the media is being made the fibers are coated with a binder that coats over the additive making it invisible to the surface where needed
4 - The antimicrobial used was not the material advertised - but a cheaper "similar one"
With the tainted results of the research study most filter companies moved away from the use or discussion of antimicrobial in filters. This is also understandable because they did not spend the time to read and understand the benefit and methods by which they work. The Filter Man has worked closely with AEGIS Environmental to insist that our media is treated according to the methods designed by the scientific research to provide as much protection as possible for the users of our Gold Series filters.
The benefits are great as the AEGIS is a contact kill product that does not leach, dissolve, or require ingestion to destroy microbes in the filter. When using filters in this part of the country, the microbes can grow quickly into visible colonies. Bacterial colonies are generally not visible at all and yet are very common in our air pathways. When this happens the filter becomes the reservoir of microbial contamination that allows the spores and odors into the spaces served - adding to the allergies and irritation of the occupants.
AEGIS antimicrobial added to the finest fibers in the Gold Series panels and links helps to reduce the potential of the filter from becoming that reservoir. More important than prevention of microbes that we can see - is the elimination of those we cannot see, even in large growth concentrations. As dirt accumulates in the filter media, microbes have nutrient to sustain cultures and as they grow the growth tends to follow along the fibers. As this growth travels along the fiber, potential of coming in contact with a portion of the treated fiber increases. The microbe is impaled on the AEGIS antimicrobial and the ION exchange that destroys the microbial chain is activated.
There are several uses of the AEGIS product from carpet, professional sporting team clothing, US Olympic team uniforms, interior surfaces of hospital ICU wards, etc. We have several Health care organizations that are now specifying that AEGIS be used in any routinely used consumables if it is available.
Simply - the use of the AEGIS antimicrobial treatment reduces microbial growth in filters "WHEN properly applied" and possibly that will help the student and faculty or healthcare workers, or tenants in buildings. What it will definitely do is prevent the filters from becoming a reservoir for contamination which in turn allows them to be used for a longer life between filter changes.
For More Information on The Filter Man, Ltd. products and services please contact: 
The Filter Man, Ltd.
PO Box 2333
New Caney, Texas 77357
Phone:  800-224--7445
Fax:  877-689-2412 

Types of Microbes

Virus is the smallest form of life as known to this moment, but it is much controversial if it can be considered as a kind of life because virus is unable to survive independently. Furthermore, they must parasite in live host cells to demonstrate metabolism and reproduce activity. Virus must, first of all, parasite in cell, while many communicable diseases, like flu, bird flu and AIDS which are virus related.
Bacteria are reckoned to be largest of microorganism both in quantity and type. The types of bacterium  are estimated to be more than 1 billion, while their living environment is also most believed to be of the widest as they can be found in every type of ecological environment, even in our body.
More than 90% of S. aureus strains are resistant to penicillin and similar drugs. Staph is also developing ways to resist treatment with the powerful antibiotic vancomycin.      
Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.  When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
Phil Maybee
Phil Maybee, CAFS
The Filter Man, Ltd
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