Category Archives: Spotlight

Humidifiers May Help Fight the Flu

Humidifiers May Help Fight the Flu

As the weather shifts to cold and flu season, your cleanroom garment service provider at Managed Technical Solutions wants everyone to stay healthy and happy this fall and winter. However, the colder weather this time of year lowers our immune systems, making us more susceptible to infection from cold and flu viruses. But recent research suggests that a simple solution for lowering your risk of infection due to circulating indoor viruses is to raise a room’s humidity levels.

By increasing the relative humidity levels in a room to above 42 percent, researchers claimed they were able to eradicate 86 percent of all airborne virus particles. Conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the results of the study were published in the journal PLOS One.

A Fluid Result

To determine the role of humidity in transmitting the flu virus, researchers at the CDC used robotized machines and tissue cultures rather than subject real people to a room full of airborne germs.

Recreating the disinfected and tightly sealed standards used in hospital examination rooms, researchers placed a robot capable of coughing in the room that was equipped with an aerosolized viral solution. The virus was then introduced into the room via five robotized “coughs” that were spread out one every five minutes.

During this same period, a robot capable on breathing was placed across from the coughing robot at a distance just short of seven feet. The breathing robot was synchronized to inhale at the same time as the coughing occurred. Researchers then collected samples of the inhaled air around the mouth of the breathing mannequin during various times over a five-hour period.

Throughout the course of the testing process, humidity levels in the room were increased from a low point of seven percent relative humidity to maximum of 73 percent. Researchers found that when the room’s humidity levels were at 43 percent, only a small number of virus particles (14 percent) were able to transmit the influenza virus. This was compared to transmission rates that ranged from between 70 and 77 percent when the room’s humidity levels were low (23 percent and below).

Additionally, the amount of protection higher humidity levels presents seem to take effect almost immediately, as the majority of virus particles were rendered ineffective within 15 minutes after they were introduced into the environment.

While these results seem encouraging, researchers were quick to caution that further testing is needed in order to duplicate these results in a real world environment. However, if researchers can confirm that higher humidity levels above 40 percent do in fact neutralize virus particles this would represent a major breakthrough for keeping hospital settings sterile. By controlling humidity levels, hospitals could also provide medical staff better protection against illnesses caused by viruses brought in by patients.

How Humidity Protects

While proving conclusively that low humidity levels help to increase the spread of transmittable viruses will be challenging, researchers believe the theory sound due to what we know about how water travels through air.

When released into the air, water particles separate from the humidity and travel throughout the room on dry air. In a room with high humidity and very little dry air, water molecules have little to cling to and begin falling to the ground, catching any virus particles they come into contact with, thereby effectively removing them from the air. Couple this effect with the knowledge that moisture halts the movement of germs, and researchers feel confident that their study will offer the same results if conducted in populated areas.

Researcher do see some problems actually successfully raising humidity levels in public spaces during winter when humidifiers would have to compete with the hot, dry air used by heaters to warm buildings during the winter.

Staying healthy this season doesn’t mean you need the support of a cleanroom garment service provider, but you do need to eliminate airborne viruses that present a risk to you and your family.

Study Finds Bacteria Lasts Longer on Surfaces Than Initially Thought

Study Finds Bacteria Lasts Longer on Surfaces Than Initially Thought

At Managed Technical Solutions, Hillsboro’s premiere cleanroom garment provider, we’re understand the hidden dangers behind lingering bacteria. But it’s not just in a lab setting that hidden bacteria can present a serious risk. In fact, bacteria may linger in places for longer than most people would suspect. The fact that bacteria can remain on surfaces presents… Continue Reading