Effects of Relative Humidity and Spraying Medium on Ultraviolet (UV) Decontamination of Filters Loaded with Viral Aerosols
FLORIDA UNIV GAINESVILLE DEPT OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING SCIENCES
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Although respirators and filters are designed to prevent the spread of pathogenic aerosols, a stockpile shortage is anticipated during the next flu pandemic. Contact transfer and reaerosolization of collected microbes from used respirators are also a concern. An option to address these potential problems is ultraviolet UV irradiation, which inactivates microbes by dimerizing thymine in nucleic acids. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of transmission mode and environmental conditions on decontamination efficiency by UV. In this study, filters were contaminated by different transmission pathways droplet and aerosol using three spraying media deionized water DI, beef extract BE, and artificial saliva AS under different humidity levels 30 LRH, 60 MRH, and 90 HRH. UV irradiation at constant intensity was applied for two time intervals at each relative humidity condition. The highest inactivation efficiency IE, around 5.8 logs, was seen for DI aerosols containing MS2 on filters at LRH after applying an UV intensity of 1.0 mWcm2 for 30 min. IE of droplets containing MS2 was lower than that of aerosols containing MS2. Absorption of UV by high water content and shielding of viruses near the center of the aggregate are considered responsible for this trend. Across the different media, IEs in AS and in BE were much lower than in DI for both aerosol and droplet transmission, indicating that solids present in AS and BE exhibited a protective effect. For particles sprayed in a protective medium, RH is not a significant parameter.
- Physical Chemistry
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare