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True HEPA Filters Can Help Stop Virus Transmission

October 19, 2020

Rochester, N.Y.— HEPA filters have been a critical mainstay in commercial, healthcare, and industrial settings for decades. Recent research into transmission of viruses such as that which causes COVID-19 suggests true HEPA filtration also can play a significant role in reducing transmission of these viruses in environmentally controlled spaces. For this reason, filter solution company R.P. Fedder tests and validates their HEPA filtration products before sending them into the field.

“To be certified as HEPA, 99.97 percent of particles larger than 0.3 microns must be captured by the filter,” explains Chris Fox, president of R.P. Fedder. The company’s proprietary testing equipment measures both efficiency (i.e., a particle counter) and pressure drop in their completed HEPA filters. “We can measure the actual efficiency of capturing these small particles, and therefore the filters’ compliance with HEPA requirements. This is critical at this time when organizations are looking to every means possible to reduce spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.”

For original equipment manufacturers that make products specifying HEPA filters, like medical devices or industrial dust collectors, it’s critical to know whether the filters they purchase are truly HEPA or not. “Few filter manufacturers that cater to low-volume OEMs have testing capabilities, so many assume HEPA-rated media will suffice, but they don’t really know whether the final filter is HEPA,” says Fox. “Having HEPA media doesn’t guarantee a HEPA filter because the manufacturing process can cause microscopic damage to the media.  We do a lot of work to guarantee a complete HEPA filter.

Recent viral filtration efficiency testing conducted by LMS Technologies found the HEPA filters manufactured by R.P. Fedder Industrial, LLC remove 99.999 percent of viruses from the airstream. The test challenged the R.P. Fedder HEPA Filtration Systems used in XLERATOR® Hand Dryers with approximately 380 million viruses ranging in size between 16.5 and 604.3 nanometers. In the end, the HEPA Filtration System removed 99.999 percent of viruses.