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Study confirms IQAir effectiveness against mercury vapors, other dental-office contaminants
A major study demonstrated that IQAir air purifiers in a dental office effectively eliminate mercury vapor, formaldehyde, particulates, microorganisms, and odors. The study, “Improving Indoor Air Quality in Hospital Environments and Dental Practices with Modular Stand-Alone Air Cleaning Devices”, was conducted by the Institute of Hygiene at the University of Heidelberg. The researchers deliberately contaminated a test room with mercury vapor (16 mg/m) and tested the effectiveness of the IQAir Dental Pro air purifier in removing the mercury by turning the system on at various fan speeds. Taking measurements directly at the Dental Pro air outlet, no measurable level of mercury was detected. The researchers also tested an IQAir Dental Hg Flex Vac™, placing the system suction arm two meters from the exposed mercury source. The room air concentration of mercury was reduced from 16 mg/m to 2 mg/m within six minutes. In another experiment, the researchers positioned the suction arm of the Flex Vac directly above the mercury contamination source and found the test room air free of any mercury contamination, even at the lowest airflow rates.
The Heidelberg research team also tested the effectiveness of the IQAir GC™ ChemiSorber air purifier for removal of formaldehyde, another potential air quality issue in dental offices. The ChemiSorber system reduced a maximum formaldehyde concentration of 0.36 ppm down to less than 0.1 ppm in less than 60 minutes. And in a separate test, the IQAir Cleanroom H13™ system was tested and found to virtually clear the air in the test room of all particles, including microorganisms.
Air cleaning solutions for dental offices
The dental workplace can expose dentists, staff, and patients to a wide variety of air pollutants during routine dental work. The IQAir Dental Series was specifically developed to provide a flexible, effective and affordable air cleaning solution for dental offices.
Dental offices have high contaminant levels
For dentists, staff, and patients, the execution of dental work and the use of various chemical compounds increase the risk of exposure to a range of potentially harmful airborne contaminants. Especially for dental staff, this exposure to potentially harmful air pollutants can be significantly higher than that of individuals in most indoor environments.
The use of high-speed drills and ultrasonic scaling equipment generates fine droplets that are light enough to stay airborne for hours. Bacteria and viruses, which are contained in these micro-droplets, are easily inhaled and constitute a potential source of infection.
Numerous studies show that dentists and their staff have higher than average levels of inorganic mercury (Hg) in their blood and urine. Mercury vapors can be released by the placement and the removal of amalgam fillings. They may also be released from office surfaces where they may have accumulated over years of usage.
Chemical disinfectants in a dental office are responsible for a generally unpleasant odor. Some disinfectants may also cause irritation and may have a sensitizing potential, especially for staff.
In order to effectively clean the air in a dental office, an air purifier must be able to capture both particles (microorganisms, droplets, dust) and gaseous chemicals (mercury vapors, gaseous organic compounds).
Control at the source is important
To capture drill aerosols and other pollutants generated by dental work on patients, an air cleaning system with extraction at source should be used. For general air quality improvement, an air cleaning system should be used at central locations within the dental procedure area.
The air cleaning systems should contain high-efficiency particulate filters as well as substantial gas phase filters for mercury vapors, disinfectants, and volatile organic compounds.