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Research - EN Aspergillus and construction work in Hospitals

07 May 2013

Construction and renovation projects in buildings can adversely affect building occupants by the release of airborne particulates, biological contaminants, and gases. Careful planning for the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and the prevention of exposure during these activities is essential. In hospitals and the healthcare sector this is extremely important due to the high risk of spreading infectious disease and creating unhealthy environment for weak patients with low immune system, which make this susceptible to infectious disease, wound infections and more.

Project summary

During the life-time of any hospital it will face internal changes. Demolition, construction, renovation and repair will all result in large amounts of dust being generated. Construction activities in the vicinity of the hospital can also result in large amounts of dust entering the hospital and spreading within diverse installations and facility sections .

Once inside the hospital, dust is carried throughout the hospital by personnel, construction workers and visitors. It’s also transported through elevator shafts and the ventilation system.

Dust is a carrier for harmful viruses, bacteria and fungi. One example of this is Aspergillus; especially weakened patients are very sensitive to this fungus and can be easily infected.

Areas like operating theatres, isolation rooms, intensive care and neonatal facilities are just some examples of high risk areas.

In Dutch hospitals many measures are required to prevent the spread of dust from construction activities. For example, waste chutes cannot be used indoors and all ventilation in- and outlets should be sealed off. Many more rules have been implemented by the authorities, all focussed on reducing the spread of dust through the hospital during construction activities. The problem is that despite this, risks remain.

This can have disastrous health and financial consequences, resulting in the closure of entire departments, high costs, loss of income, as well as a bad reputation. These consequences can linger for a long time.

Research shows that there is a direct link between air quality and Aspergillus. By keeping the air clean, the odds of an infection are greatly reduced. Virus Free Air has developed a solution for improving the air quality during construction activities. The VFA solution uses own patented ASPRA technology of VFA for particle filtration. This solutions was given the name ASPRA L Mobile, which is a high efficiency and high capacity air purification system. The system is mobile, easily operated and maintained. The ASPRA L Mobile can be attached to several types of accessories, which makes the option source control easy and effective. The ASPRA L Mobile can then be applied close to the construction activity for cleaning pollution at the source or simply applied in the construction area, hospital pathways or even patient rooms for general cleaning of the whole space.

Especially for hospitals, VFA offers a service to assess the risks before construction activities take place, to directly remove the dust and to continuously monitor the air quality.

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