Fan/Filter Units Do More Than Meet ISO Requirements—they also prevent infection.
Most cleanroom professionals understand that FFUs capture contaminants that degrade particle-sensitive samples. But they also remove bacteria and many viruses and mold spores that contribute to a host of infections.
Most common bacteria are contained by the 0.3-micron pore size of high-efficiency particular air (HEPA) filters. Ultra-Low Penetration Air (ULPA) filters, which are rated 99.999% efficient at retaining particles of 0.12 microns and larger in diameter, capture ultra-fine contaminants, including many large viruses and mold spores.
These filters also remove aerosol-born pathogens—germs that literally hitch a ride on larger particles and liquid droplets that are captured in a HEPA or ULPA filter.
HEPA- or ULPA-based Fan/Filter Units (FFUs) thus can play an important role in infection prevention in surgical theaters, ICUs and other medical settings. Here is a list of common human pathogens that HEPA/ULPA filters capture and remove from circulation:
- Escherichia coli: Gastrointestinal infection
- Bacillus anthracis: Anthrax
- Aspergillus brasiliensis: Sinus infections
- Francisella tularensis: Tularemia
- Bordetella pertusis: Whooping cough
- Mycoplasma pneumaoniae: Pneumonia
- Chlamydia pneumoniae: Bronchitis
- Clamydia psittaci: Psittacosis
- Klebsiella pneumoniae: Opportunistic infections
- Haemophilus influenzae: Meningitis
- Coxiella burnetii: Q fever
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Opportunistic infections
- Actinomyces israelii: Actinomycosis
- Legionella pneumophila: Legionaire's disease
- Thermoactinomyces sacchari: Farmer's lung
- Alkaligenes: Opportunistic infections
- Streptococcus pyogenes: Scarlet fever
- Mycobacterium Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis