International Hygiene Advisory Committee: use of air purifiers only optional after ventilation

At the last meeting of the Committee the question was raised whether air purifiers can be effective to reduce aerosol formation in laundries that process healthcare linen? In the sorting and loading processes aerosols could spread and people and employees are exposed to this for a long time so concentrations can built up. Omicron is highly transmissible.

In the Netherlands at some primary schools Plasma-filters are used. The number of infected pupils dropped significantly. An expert stated that real effects of the filters cannot be determined yet since a combination of measurements is applicable. Good ventilation is the basis; a filter can be a good addition.

In The Netherlands the demands for the Air Change per Hour (ACH) are high because of CO2. Plasma technology is an additional technique for disinfection. It can be useful in areas where many people come/work together. Big spaces require many filters. The risk of transmission and outbreaks in the industry appears to be small since up till now in just one outbreak was registered.

Experience shows that people working in the clean area of the laundry are easier infected than people working in the dirty area. The latter have built up more immunity and resistance. In laundries the ventilation mostly is up-to-standard. Proper hand hygiene and gloves, combined with face masks, offer an adequate protection level.

At this moment we have not built up enough immunity for corona as we have for the flu. However, this will change. At this stage there is no urge to recommend air purifiers for laundry operations. As stated above good ventilation is the basis; a filter can be a good addition.