Cleaning Ducts: Keeping Occupants Safe

The ductwork in health care can be a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. These ducts collect hair, linen, dust, and skin cells that provide a food source for bacteria. Regular duct cleaning at all Health Care Facilities should be part of every infection control and indoor air quality plan.

According to the EPA, almost 80% of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) problems can be caused by two things. Either inadequate ventilation or a source of pollution like dust, dirt, and debris - or a combination of both. Inadequate ventilation is usually pretty straightforward to fix; however, identifying and solving sources of pollution is different.

A pollution source can be external to the building or within the building itself (including the ventilation system ductwork). Building operations personnel have little or no control over external pollution sources and usually must resort to special filters or other solutions. Internal pollution is a little easier to deal with, especially a contaminated duct system.

The Facts


As identified by NADCA, (The National Air Duct Cleaners Association) removal of contaminants remains the single best method for cleaning and decontaminating HVAC systems. 

Research from the American Lung Association, ALA, shows that airflow and ventilation can affect how disease spread indoors. The more stagnant the air is, the more likely diseases are to spread.

The Institute of Medicine, Division of Health Promotion describes the potential that damp indoor spaces foster the growth and transmission of viruses and bacteria by controlling moisture you can limit the spread of infection diseases, mold, and dust mite. 

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