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J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2014 Jan;64(1):13-8.

Improving the indoor air quality of respiratory type of medical facility by zeolite filtering.

Abstract

This study investigated the indoor air quality (IAQ) conditions of carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), formaldehyde (HCHO), total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), and bio-aerosols (bacteria and fungi) in a respiratory type of medical facility in Chia-Yi County in southern Taiwan. Among those IAQ conditions, the concentrations of CO, O3, and HCHO exceeded the regulation values of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) mostly in the morning. The concentrations of bacteria and fungi did not exceed the regulation values but still posed potential health and environment problems for workers, patients, and visitors. Therefore, self-made silver-coated zeolite (AgZ) was used as a filter material in air cleaners to remove bio-aerosols in the respiratory care ward (RCW), and the removals were still effective after 120 hr. The cumulative bio-aerosol removals for bacteria and fungi were 900 and 1,088 colony-forming units (CFU) g(-1) after 24 hr and were above 3,100 and 2,700 CFU g(-1) after 120 hr. From the research results, it is suggested that AgZ filtering could be used as a feasible engineering measure for hospitals to control their bacteria and fungi parameters in IAQ management. Hospitals should maintain their environmental management and monitoring programs and use different engineering measures to improve different IAQ parameters.

IMPLICATIONS:

This study investigated the IAQ conditions in the field at a hospital in Chia-Yi County in southern Taiwan. Although concentrations of most parameters were still within the regulation values, the concentrations of CO, O3, and HCHO were partially exceeded. We propose a method using an air cleaner with silver-coated zeolite (AgZ) as a possible engineering measure, and there were effective reductions of bacteria and fungi to lower levels with antibacterial effects after 120 hr. Furthermore, this study implies that hospitals should continuously maintain environmental monitoring programs and adopt optimal engineering measures for different needs.

PMID:
24620399
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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