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Using AIRE GUARDIAN® Mobile Dust Containment Modules to Effectively Meet CDC and ICRA Construction Guidelines

The Joint Commission-enforced Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines for Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities require completion of an Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) for all construction, renovation, repair, and maintenance activities. The ICRA provides a structured method for evaluating the risks of exposing sensitive patients to Aspergillus and other infectious microbes common in indoor environments that can attach to dust and dirt and other particles released into the air during the work, and determining suitable protective measures.

What Is Negative Pressure Particle Containment?

The ICRA may indicate that protecting patients from exposure to airborne particles requires implementation of full negative pressure containment, which requires:

(1) Placing physical barriers around a work area that may generate airborne contaminants to separate or “segment” that area from the facility environment

(2) Continuously operating portable HEPA filtration devices known as portable air scrubbers to significantly reduce airborne particle counts within that area, and

(3) Exhausting a sufficient amount of HEPA-filtered air from the enclosure to create and maintain negative (lower) pressure compared to adjacent spaces

The objective is to find a way to effectively implement these protective measures in the most time-efficient and cost effective manner possible.


Unique Containment Issues for Wall & Ceiling Work

Infectious particles can thrive in ceiling and wall cavities thanks to near-optimal environmental conditions and an abundant supply of dirt, dust, and cellulose-based building material particles as food sources. Hospital construction and renovation activities in hospitals frequently require access to these spaces. Some typical examples of these types of activities include:

  • Installing or removing wiring, network cabling, conduit or pneumatic systems above drop ceilings or in wall cavities
  • Testing smoke detectors and other equipment
  • Removing ceiling tiles or sheet rock to access plumbing and cabling networks or fluorescent lighting fixtures
  • Installing, removing, replacing or servicing ceiling or wall mounted equipment or fixtures

The time and labor cost required to erect, dismantle and relocate a fixed barrier every time a ladder is moved from one ceiling grid opening to another make them an impractical particle containment solution for these types of jobs.


Introduction of Mobile Containment Barriers

Prefabricated mobile construction containment modules sometimes referred to as ‘dust cubes’ or ‘dust carts’ have proven to be a more efficient alternative solution for this type of work. These portable devices can be rolled from one location in a facility to another and adjusted to accommodate various ceiling heights. There are two types of mobile containment products available today.

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