What is a HEPA filter?

By Bob Erbacher, Sales Manager

A person’s life hangs in the balance as a delicate operation is about to be performed. The doctors are scrubbed and gloved and in place, the tools laid out. The patient is wheeled in, sedated and prepped. The lead doctor leans in, scalpel in hand, and is about to make his opening incision. 

But wait…Rewind.

Before any of this can happen the air in the operating room must be pristine and germ free. And that all starts with Tristate Filter. We provide the HEPA filters for major New York Hospitals so that places like operating theaters to emergency rooms can have as sterile an environment as it can possibly be for people, processes and equipment.

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are used in applications where the standard of air cleanliness needs to be extremely high and has been set by the United States Department of Energy. They range in efficiency from 85% (E10) up to 99.99% (U17) depending upon the importance of the air quality.

The air passes through a mat of randomly placed fibers that are generally made of fiberglass with diameters of between 2.0 and 0.5 micrometers. HEPA filters are designed to target much smaller particles and pollutants than the average filter.  The particles get trapped through a complicated combination of diffusion, interception and impaction. Their efficiency prevents any spec of impurities to pass through where the needs are critical and a medically necessity.   

The original HEPA filter was designed in the 1940’s and used in the Manhattan Project to prevent the spread of radioactive contaminants. By the 1950’s they had been commercialized and were used wide spread in all forms on medical and industrial applications. Today HEPA filters have increased their effectiveness and are now used in all major hospitals around the country. 

Back to the operating room. The doctor puts the last stitch in place, the rubber gloves get snapped into the trash bin and the operation is declared a success. And the results are partially responsible due to the HEPA filters that were supplied by Tristate Filter.

Previous article Facility Management
Next article Re-Occuring, Never Ending Odors - Carbon Filters and More