Newly donated equipment allows SUNY Canton to pilot a state-of-the-art air filtration technology that will actively reduce airborne pathogens in two of its high-traffic buildings and aid in the ongoing battle against the transmission of the novel coronavirus.
Longstanding college partners Day & Nite All Service gave six AtmosAir Bi-Polar Ionization units to help filter out bacteria and viruses, including COVID-19. Company Executive Vice President Rick Sher described the new endeavor as a demonstration of their evolving relationship with the college, which is perfectly equipped to test the new technology.
“Our collaboration was designed to help solve a major problem confronting the entire world,” Sher said. “SUNY Canton’s academic pedigree coupled with the school’s diverse population, campus layout and technical engineering leadership makes it the perfect choice to deploy, test and provide expert analysis to help other institutions of higher education and businesses create safer, more hygienic environments.”
The units are similar to those installed in hospital surgical centers or clean rooms used in tech development. Bi-polar ionization air purification can remove up to 95% of ultrafine particles and 90% of volatile organic compounds, which has led experts to study the technology as a strategy against the pandemic. Previous studies have resulted in a 99.9% reduction of coronavirus within 30 minutes of exposure to the cylindrical filtration devices.
AtmosAir units were installed in existing air handling systems for the Davis Health Center and One Hop Shop Student Service Center in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center, in addition to classroom spaces in Cook Hall. All of the college’s test locations already exceeded the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended indoor air filtration prior to the installation of the bi-polar ionization tubes, according to SUNY Canton Facilities and Maintenance staff.
Canino School of Engineering Technology Dean Michael J. Newtown is now overseeing indoor air quality testing in the upgraded locations. He and Instructional Support Associate Shane P. MacArthur are testing for bacterial, fungal and carbon dioxide levels in the spaces.
“Our established background in HVAC made us the perfect environment to adopt and test the system,” Newtown said. “Having the technology and scientifically proving that it can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be a milestone for SUNY Canton. It also helps us demonstrate to our students what’s currently available on the market.”
Day & Nite / All Service / Popular Plumbing is a commercial refrigeration, kitchen equipment, HVAC, plumbing installation, maintenance and emergency repair company. It has become one of the college’s top allies and both sponsors educational endeavors and hires its graduates.
“The equipment is the latest in a series of donations from our gracious sponsors,” said SUNY Canton Vice President for Advancement Tracey L. Thompson. “Day & Nite previously donated scholarship funding and other high-tech equipment used in research and training. We thank them for their continuing generosity.”
As part of the study, the college collected preliminary air samples prior to the installation of the AtmosAir units. Post installation data will be available by the end of the month for comparison and analysis.