top of page

REPORTS

Scientific reports confirm the effect of ionization.

  • Salmonella and airborne microbes

  • Ionization as an alternative to chemicals in food

  • Ions eliminate airborne infections

 

Salmonella and airborne microbes

In a study done by the US Dept. of Agriculture found that ionization drastically reduces airborne salmonella microbes by killing organisms within 60 seconds. Here, tests were performed at chicken egg hatcheries whose environments have large amounts of dust in the air. In a room with salmonella-infected laying hens, the transmission of salmonella between chickens decreased by 98% and reduced salmonella in the air by 95%. This is also because the amount of dust in the air decreases when the air is ionized, which is important because microbes and pollutants are lifted via these dust particles to the lungs and springs.

Title: BACTERIZING EFFECT OF NEGATIVE AIR IONES
ON AIR AND SURFACE SALMONELLA ENTERITIDIS THROUGH ARTIFICIAL AEROSOL

Author:
Seo, Kun Ho; Mitchell, Bailey; Holt, Peter; Guest, Richard
Submitted to: Journal Of Food Protection
Approved for publication: 31 August 2000
Date of publication: 1 February 2001

 

Explanatory summary:

To investigate whether ionized air has any bactericidal effect, an aerosol containing Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) was pumped into an airtight plastic chamber. Agar plates were set up on walls, ceilings and floors and exposed to the aerosol for 3 hours with and without ionization, respectively. The plates were removed from the chamber and cultured for 24 hours at 37 ° C after which the colonies were counted. More than 1,000 cells / plate were observed on plates exposed to the aerosol without ionization (control) compared to less than 20 cells / plate on the ionized plates. In another series of experiments, the SE aerosol was pumped for 3 hours into an empty chamber with only the ionization unit and allowed to settle on the inner surfaces. These were then rinsed with 100 ml of brine which was then applied to the agar plates. While the rinsed fluid from the control chamber had colonies with more than 400 cells / ml of fluid, no colonies were found in the fluid from the ionized chamber. The results suggest that air with high levels of negative ions can be very effective against airborne microbes and this is largely due to the organisms dying immediately. The technology, which also significantly reduces the dust in the air, has been successfully used in egg hatching machines and laying cages.

Technical summary:

Studies have shown that Salmonella enteritidis (SE) can be transmitted through the air within a flock, especially in the case of stressed birds. To investigate whether the ionizer had any bactericidal effect on various organisms, an airtight plastic chamber was constructed in which an aerosol containing SE was pumped. On the walls, ceiling and floor of the chamber, XLT4 plates were placed and exposed to the aerosol for 3 hours, with or without an ionizer. The plates were removed from the chamber, grown for 24 hours at 37 ° C after which the colonies were counted. More than 1000 CFU / plate were observed on plates exposed to the aerosol without ionizer compared to less than 20 CFU / plate with ionizer. Experiments where the inner surfaces of the chamber after being exposed to the aerosol for 3 hours were rinsed with 100 ml of PBS and the rinsed liquid was applied to XLT4 plates showed that while the liquid from the chamber exposed to the aerosol without ionizer had colonies of more than 400 CFU / plate , no colonies were found in the rinsed liquid from the ionized chamber. The results suggest that negative ionization of the air can be very effective against airborne microbes in a hen house and that the effect arises at least in part by the organisms dying immediately.

 

Ionization as an alternative to chemicals in food

Ionization has been shown to effectively reduce airborne and superficial microorganisms. This study shows how to achieve reductions of up to 99.9% for certain staphylococci and other organisms within 3 hours. Treatment of bacillus spores for 6 hours reduced them to 96%. The apparatus used generated 1,000,000 negative ions per cm 3 measured 1 meter from its electrodes.

Title: USE OF NEGATIVE IONIZED AIR TO REDUCE DISEASE BATTERY AND SPORTS ON STAINLESS STEEL SURFACES

 

Author:
Arnold, Judy; Boothe, Dorothy; Mitchell, B. - USDA / ARS SEP
Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Approved for publication: December 27, 2003
Date of publication: 1 January 2004

Quote: JW Arnold, DD Boothe, BW Mitchell 2004 Use of negatively ionized air to reduce the amount of disease-causing bacteria and spores on stainless steel surfaces. Journal of Applied Poultry Research. 13: 200-206

 

Explanatory summary:

The use of chemicals in decontamination in the food industry for the purpose of removing and killing microorganisms can be reduced through the use of non-chemical methods. Negative ionization of the air is a new technology that has been shown to effectively reduce air- and surface-borne microorganisms. An electrostatic charging system (ESCS) creates a strong negative charge that is transmitted to the bacteria through stainless steel tongues. Recent studies have shown a decrease in mixed populations from environmental samples, disease-causing bacteria and spores. Bacterial layers on stainless steel surfaces decreased by 99.8%. In this study, the charge was varied by changing the voltage and / or moving the ground plane closer or further away from the electrode tips. The number of disease-causing bacteria was smaller on ionized than on non-ionized surfaces. Treatment of significant bacteria from a food safety point of view resulted in a 99.9% reduction in 3 hours. Treatment of spores from Bacillus stearothermophilius resulted in a 99.8% reduction in 3 hours. These data suggest that ESCS can be effective in a plant by directly killing surface-borne bacteria and spores.

Technical summary:

The use of chemicals in decontamination in the food industry for the purpose of removing and killing microorganisms can be reduced by using alternative non-chemical methods. Negative ionization of the air is a new technology that has been shown to effectively reduce airborne and surface-borne microorganisms. In this study, the ion density was varied by changing the voltage to the mains part of the ionization unit and / or moving the ground plane closer or further away from the electrode tips to achieve an ion density of 1 m distance of between 103 and 106 negative ions / cm3. The relative humidity was 85%. The number of disease-causing bacteria was significantly lower on ionized than on non-ionized surfaces. Treatment of Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli, Salmonella enteritidis, Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus resulted in a 4 log reduction with up to 99.8% efficacy in three hours. These data suggest that ESCS can be effective against microbes in a plant by directly killing bacteria and spores on the surfaces.

Ions eliminate airborne infections

A one-year study with ionizers in an intensive care unit at University Hospital in Leeds, England, has proven to be a complete success story with one hundred percent elimination of airborne infections caused by pathogenic acinetobacter. Infections that occur during hospital stays are a very big problem worldwide. A medical meeting estimates that 800 Swedes die every year and that 90,000 - 100,000 are infected.

 

There are many forms of hospitalization and about 20% of these infections are transmitted through the air. In England alone, this means an annual cost of £ 100-200 million. Acinetobacter infections are a growing problem in hospitals, as this pathogen is resistant to almost all available antibiotics. The successful study result has led to even more money being invested in research on negative ions and their impact on resistant pathogens.

 

The solution to hospital illness can be in the air

A breakthrough in the fight against infections that arise in hospitals may have been made through groundbreaking new research. The project investigates the use of ionizers to eradicate airborne infections in hospitals - a technology that can mean significant health benefits and financial savings. Beginning in December, this 3-year project will be implemented by engineers at the University of Leeds with funding from the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) in Swindon.

 

Infections in hospitals are an extensive and serious problem that affects approx. 10% of patients during their hospital stay. It is becoming more and more obvious that as much as 20% of these infections are spread through the air, something that costs society between 100-200 million GBP per year in England alone.

 

The project is based on a recent successful study at St James University Hospital in Leeds. Here, it was found that ionizers used to negatively charge air particles in an intensive care unit prevented all infections caused by the Acinetobacter pathogen. Infections with acinetobacter that are immune to virtually all available antibiotics are a growing problem in hospitals and can be fatal to some patient groups.

 

In the new project, the same working group will try to understand the principle behind this success and create a stable foundation for future use of this technology. They will focus on the biological and physical processes associated with negative ionization of the air as well as airborne transmission of infections, and establish guidelines for how ionizers can be used effectively in hospital buildings. Much of the research will take place at the university's state-of-the-art aerobiological test facility, which is partly funded by the EPSRC. The facility has i.a. a 32 m2 climate chamber where temperature, humidity and ventilation can be varied and controlled. The chamber allows researchers to imitate different clinical environments and conduct a variety of experiments with microorganism-charged aerosols.

 

nature_aircode9.jpg
bottom of page