The Effects of an Advanced Air Purification Technology on Environmental and Clinical Outcomes in a Long-Term Care Facility

03 May, 2023  |  Alicia R Urrutia, BS, Susan D Schlener, BSN, Sherrine Eid, MPH, Kelly A Bock, MBA, Kathryn C Worrilow, Ph.D

The Journals of Gerontology



Long-term care facilities (LTCFs) are constantly working to reduce sources of infectious pathogens to improve resident care. LTCF residents are particularly susceptible to health care-associated infections (HAIs), many of which originate from the air. An advanced air purification technology (AAPT) was designed to comprehensively remediate volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and all airborne pathogens including all airborne bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The AAPT contains a unique combination of proprietary filter media, high-dose ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration.


The AAPT was installed in an LTCF’s heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning ductwork and 2 floors were studied: the study floor with comprehensive AAPT remediation and HEPA filtration and the control floor with only HEPA filtration. VOC loading and airborne and surface pathogen loading were measured in 5 locations on both floors. Clinical metrics such as HAI rates were also studied.


There was a statistically significant 98.83% reduction in airborne pathogens, which are responsible for illness and infection, an 89.88% reduction in VOCs, and a 39.6% reduction in HAIs. Surface pathogen loading was reduced in all locations except 1 resident room where the detected pathogens were linked to direct touch.


The removal of airborne and surface pathogens by the AAPT led to a dramatic reduction in HAIs. The comprehensive removal of airborne contaminants has a direct positive impact on resident wellness and quality of life. It is critical that LTCFs incorporate aggressive airborne purification methods with their current infection control protocols.