Mold in the Healthcare Environment: Keeping Patients and Staff Safe - Part 4


Last month’s discussion began with some insight on a proven method of helping remediate mold growth within HVAC systems serving critical care environments. This month I’ll expand that conversation to include the emerging technology of Needlepoint Bi-Polar Air Ionization (NPBI), which not only helps eliminate mold growth in HVAC air-handing systems, but is also confirmed to address a variety of IAQ issues including contaminants brought in from outdoors (allergens, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, chemicals, helipad and emergency generator exhaust, etc.). It’s been demonstrated effective as well on internal contaminates of concern, including viruses and VOCs circulated within the space. NPBI allows the safe and efficient removal of harmful substances by creating cold-plasma that splits water molecules in the air, producing positive and negative ions which surround certain harmful particles and pathogens, producing a reaction at the molecular level which deprives them of life-sustaining hydrogen and prevents reproduction. Because of this, spores are also inactivated, keeping wet cooling coils and drain pans free of mold and fungal growth. Similarly, these ions surround various VOCs (odors), causing the compound to break-down into one or more of four basic elements of the atmosphere. Subsequently, studies have demonstrated that ions delivered through ductwork and into the occupied space can also effectively decrease surface microbial counts, resulting in safer, healthier indoor environments. One important caveat to this and other IAQ technologies used within healthcare environments (is that) they should include UL 2998 certification which verifies the device(s) produces no ozone output. Next month I’ll delve a bit deeper into this discussion by presenting a more traditional technology which is mandated by code for its proven effectiveness in helping enhance the health, comfort and wellbeing of both patients and staff.