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Principles and Importance of Negative Pressure Containment

Effective Negative Pressure Particle Containment Using Abatement Technologies® Portable Air Scrubbers

Particles released into the air during facility construction, renovation, demolition and maintenance activities must be properly isolated and contained. Tiny particles and fungal spores are lightweight enough to remain aerosolized (suspended in the air) for hours, days or even weeks. The aerosolized particles can migrate into other areas of a facility on air currents and pose a potential threat to the health of sensitive patients. Larger particles can create housekeeping problems when they drop out of the air and settle on floors and other surfaces.

How Negative Pressure Particle Containment Works

Abatement Technologies HEPA-AIRE® and PREDATOR® series Portable Air Scrubbers (PAS) are designed to contain and capture indoor air particles and other contaminants and odors using a time-proven technique known as negative pressure particle containment. Effective negative pressure containment requires four main elements:

  1. Construction of a physical barrier around the work area to separate it from the rest of the facility.
  2. Sealing off any HVAC return air grills within the space to protect against particles being pulled into the HVAC system.
  3. Continuously pulling air within the area through a HEPA filtration device to reduce the number of airborne particles. Most job specifications require at least 6 air changes per hour (ACH), which means that the device must filter a volume of air equal to the air volume contained within the enclosed space 6 times per hour, or every 10 minutes.
  4. Exhausting at least 10% more cubic feet per minute of clean, HEPA-filtered air out of the space than is supplied into it to create and maintain negative pressure within that space. This helps ensure that any air leakage between the contained area and adjacent spaces will be “clean” air flowing in and not “dirty” air flowing out.