Pathogens are infectious microorganisms or agents such as bacteria, microbes, viruses, germs, fungus (fungi). While the vast majority of bacteria are harmless or even beneficial to humans, some pathogenic bacteria are highly prone to cause globally significant infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia.
The other diseases caused by viral pathogens include:
Although many pathogenic microorganisms primarily spread through a direct contact, due to a very small size and weight they can easily become airborne when the infected person spreads the pathogens through breathing or respiratory droplets expelled from the mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing.
Size of Pathogens:
While pathogens are constantly present in the air, their type and concentration can be especially dangerous for children, individuals who have chronic asthma or other respiratory impairments, or those with preexisting respiratory ailments such as COPD, bronchitis, emphysema.
Effective removal of airborne pathogens for these groups of people may become a life saving requirement.
There are few ways to kill pathogens by subjecting them to:
Exposure to Chemicals (Medicine)
Antibiotics is the most common method of killing bacteria. The antibiotics work by destroying the bacteria cell wall. This leads to expulsion of pathogen's DNA, inability of pathogens to produce proteins and eventually death. The medication can be added into the air by using vaporisers or humidifiers with medicine cup. Unfortunately, the recent studies show the emergence and spreading of "superbugs" which develop high level of resistance to antibiotics, making them ineffective.
Exposure to High Temperature
Exposure to high temperature is one of the most common methods of killing pathogens. However, it is only applicable to killing pathogens attached to the surface of the objects required sterilization, and hence do nothing with the airborne pathogens.
Exposure to UV Light
The Ultraviolet (UV) light (Germicidal UV light especially) is the fastest and most effective way to sterilize the air from airborne pathogens. Germicidal UV bulb produces the ultraviolet (UVC) light with specific wavelength of 253.7 nm (nanometer). The exposure of pathogens to the UV light with this wavelength destroys the Thymine amino acid in pathogen's DNA, leading to pathogen's inability to produce protein and death.
The sterilization power of Germicidal UV light is about 1,600 times of a direct sunlight, and therefore is extremely lethal to most airborne pathogens - bacteria, microbes, viruses.
Mechanical Air Filtration
True HEPA filter has a guaranteed filtration efficiency of over 99.97% in trapping all solid sub-micron airborne particulates as small as down to 0.3 micron in size. This size range includes all airborne bacteria, microbes, fungi and larger size viruses. Trapped in the air purifier's True HEPA filter, pathogens are exposed to the constant air rush, which deprives them of moisture and eventually making them to die.
The higher efficiency particle filters such as, 99.99% @ 0.3 micron efficiency Super HEPA or 99.999% @ 0.1 micron efficiency ULPA filters can be more effective in trapping of sub-micron viruses. However, tighter particulate filters may result in a reduced air flow and a number of air changes per hour (ACH), resulting in a lower overall performance due to a higher back pressure from a more dense filter media. Therefore, it is essential that the air filtration system of air purifiers for pathogens contains a large, perfectly sealed True HEPA filter.
In the early 2000s SHARP corporation developed and patented an advanced air cleaning technology called Plasmacluster Ion (PCI).
This innovative technology replicates Nature's Own air cleaning process that purifies air in the Earth's atmosphere by producing the balanced shower of positive and negative ions from water vapors in the air.
The ions are dispersed throughout the entire room where they actively seek, attack and deactivate airborne pathogens: germs, bacteria, viruses, mold spores, fungi, etc.
The Sharp's Exclusive Plasmacluster Ion technology has clinically proven effective in significantly reducing the airborne pathogens such as:
Below the Plasmacluster Ion Performance Test Results on Pathogens.
|Pathogen Type||Pathogens||Rate of Reduction|
|Mold, Fungus||Penicillium Citrinum||87.7%|
|Virus||MS2 Viral Stimulant||90.3%|
In view of the above, the most efficient air purifiers for Airborne Pathogens Control should meet few requirements.
1. The air filtration system should include large and perfectly sealed particle filter: True HEPA, Super HEPA or ULPA.
While all air purifiers offered in this page are equipped with large True HEPA filters, two of them AirPura I600 and Amaircare 3000 employ the oversize True HEPA filter each containing a whopping 100 sq. ft. of medical grade True HEPA filter.
2. Germicidal UV bulb most likely is a single most effective option that can significantly boost the air purifier's ability to sterilize the air from airborne pathogens quickly and effectively.
AirPura UV600, AirPura P600, AirPura P600 Plus air purifier models all are equipped with high-output Germicidal UV bulb, making them the strongest contenders in the category of the most efficient air purifiers for Airborne Pathogens Control.
3. Sharp FP-F50UW, Sharp FP-F60UW, Sharp KC-850U and Sharp KC-860U all are equipped with Sharp's exclusive proprietary Plasmacluster Ion generators, and therefore are strong contenders in the category of best air purifiers for Airborne Pathogens Control.
Sharp FP-F50UW (FPF50UW) the compact Sharp air purifier features Sharp FP-F50UW 2-in-1 HEPA and Carbon filter and Sharp Plasmacluster Ion generator for medium room air purification.
Sharp KC-850U (KC850U) is a 3-in-1 Sharp air purifier, humidifier and sterilizer with Sharp Plasmacluster Ion technology and Sharp's Humidifying section for large rooms.
|Air Purifier Model||HEPA Filter, sq. ft.||Sterilization mechanism||Air Flow Rate, cfm|
|Airpura UV600||40||Germicidal UV Bulb||560|
|Airpura P600||40||Germicidal UV Bulb||560|
|Sharp KC-860U||20||Plasmacluster Ion||300|
|Sharp FP-F60UW||17||Plasmacluster Ion||260|
AirPura UV600 equipped with AirPura UV600 Germicidal UV Bulb and supplemented by AirPura UV600 HEPA and Carbon filters makes an outstanding Airpura air purifier for airborne pathogen control and for general air purification. AirPura P600 Air Purifier integrates the AirPura P600 Photocatalytic Oxidation unit with AirPura P600 HEPA and Carbon filters to deliver the most comprehensive air purification among all AirPura air purifiers. Sharp KC-860U (KC860U) is a Sharp Air purifier, humidifier and Sterilizer with Sharp KC-860U Exclusive humidifying function and Sharp Plasmacluster Ion technology for a very large room. Sharp FPF60UW (FP-F60UW) air purifier employs Sharp FPF60UW True HEPA and Carbon filters backed by Sharp Plasmacluster Ion generator to provide effective air purification in large rooms.
AirPura UV600 equipped with AirPura UV600 Germicidal UV Bulb and supplemented by AirPura UV600 HEPA and Carbon filters makes an outstanding Airpura air purifier for airborne pathogen control and for general air purification.
AirPura P600 Air Purifier integrates the AirPura P600 Photocatalytic Oxidation unit with AirPura P600 HEPA and Carbon filters to deliver the most comprehensive air purification among all AirPura air purifiers.
Sharp KC-860U (KC860U) is a Sharp Air purifier, humidifier and Sterilizer with Sharp KC-860U Exclusive humidifying function and Sharp Plasmacluster Ion technology for a very large room.
Sharp FPF60UW (FP-F60UW) air purifier employs Sharp FPF60UW True HEPA and Carbon filters backed by Sharp Plasmacluster Ion generator to provide effective air purification in large rooms.