Illinois Department of Public Health Recommends the Use of UV Air Purification in Dental Offices Amid COVID-19 Reopening

Illinois Department of Public Health Recommends the Use of UV Air Purification in Dental Offices Amid COVID-19 Reopening

The reopening of businesses throughout the Country are leading to increased guidelines that outline specific standards and health requirements that each business should implement. These standards include social distancing, disinfection and sanitizing, and even UV air purification to help clean the indoor air of confined business environments. Dental offices, in particular, are slowly starting to reopen their doors to patients for non-emergency dental services. States like Illinois have revised their guidelines that previously instructed limiting dental services to only urgent oral and dental care needs. As dental offices start to increase their business and the patients that they are seeing, having the proper protective equipment, disinfection solutions, and even air purification will all be part of the recommendations within the Illinois guidelines.

The outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic has led to concern over the health and safety of dental professionals and their patients. The American Association of Endodontists (AAE) stated that dental workers are experiencing high risks for nosocomial infection and even have the potential to become carriers of this [COVID-19] disease. Therefore, as communities are carefully removing restrictions to businesses, dental professionals are facing increasing fears of how to integrate back into the workplace in a safe, cautious, and methodical manner. Dentists, in particular, are working diligently on the necessary preparations that are needed to allow for their workers and patients to return to the dental setting, while providing them a safe environment that follows all the social distancing requirements and safety guidelines outlined by the CDC. 

The American Dental Association reported on the May 12th Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions’ hearing that focused on COVID-19: Safely Getting Back to Work and Back to School, where Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, had this to say in response to dental professionals reopening their doors to patients;

“If dentists are following ADA guidelines on infection protocols, strict protection measures, and closely examining and seeing decline of COVID-19 patients in their county, are these reasonable factors to consider for reopening dental practices? Dental health is so important.”

States such as Illinois agree on the importance of dental health. In response, the Illinois Department of Public Health has outlined specific steps to help mitigate the potential risk posed by aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 to both dental professionals and the patients they see in this dental setting. These guidelines and recommended steps for dental professionals among these changing conditions due to the pandemic include the following;

  • Use techniques to aid in the reduction of aerosolization such as high-volume evacuation. 

  • Integrate a portable operated HEPA filters that are of appropriate size, placement and maintenance in the dental setting (while considering the removal rate, efficiency and airflow rate of the air cleaner, sizing and placement with the space, etc.)

  • Implement and maintain a properly designed UV system. The details of the UV system need to consider the design of fixtures, lamp type, lamp placement airflow amount, etc. However, adding UV to an existing system without consideration of these factors has not been demonstrated to have any benefit against other respiratory viruses. 

Ultraviolet light (UV light) used in air purification devices is a known method for inactivating or reducing pathogens found in the indoor air. This added capability in air purifiers will provide the ability to deactivate airborne pathogens within the air purifier, which will be beneficial in any indoor space with high levels of transmission risks, such as dental offices. Many air purification devices contain UV lights to enable the capability to deactivate these airborne pathogens within the air purification system.  UV-C Light is a specific wavelength of light that can achieve germicidal benefits, but it requires time or a high dosage on the pathogen to be effective.

The EnviroKlenz UV System solves the dosage problems by placing the UV-C light before the HEPA filter, which captures biological contaminants 0.3 microns and larger. The droplet size from coughing or sneezing humans is very broad, and a HEPA filter can capture the bulk of that particulate matter range. Integrating UV lamps within the air purification device allows for continual bathing of the collection site of the HEPA filter, which allows for the items collected on the surface of the HEPA filter to get a lengthened or even infinite residence time. By using a dental UV light, such as the EnviroKlenz Mobile Air System with UV lights, the pathogens are exposed to the UV-C light as long as the unit and its lights remain on in the air purification system.

This means that even though the UV lamp is relatively low intensity (given the airflow of the unit is approximately 80-250 CFM) the UV-C dosage required for destruction is created for the trapped pathogen. The pathogen will continue to be exposed to the UV-C radiation regardless of how quickly air passes through the unit. This process allows the EnviroKlenz UV Mobile Air System to continuously work within indoor environments, such as a dental office, to capture, contain, and deactivate pathogens that are transmitted within the air of the facility safely and effectively. 

About EnviroKlenz®.

EnviroKlenz® is a leader in the Indoor Air Quality industry, with over a decade of experience removing and destroying harmful contaminants from even the most critical environments. EnviroKlenz Mobile Air Systems are trusted throughout the medical field not only to capture, but to destroy pathogens, microorganisms, odors, and VOCs. The EnviroKlenz process is a scientifically and field-proven choice for the safe, rapid, convenient, and cost-effective restoration of indoor spaces from a broad spectrum of pathogens, particulates, chemical compounds, and other pollutants.

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