Element Materials Technology (Element), a leading global Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC) company, unveiled one of the first and largest post-pandemic, commercial bioaerosol testing facilities. It is designed to evaluate the efficacy of aerosolized products to reduce or eliminate indoor airborne organisms and viral particles in habitable spaces such as transportation, hospitals, and schools. The state-of-the-art lab is at the company’s Eagan, Minnesota site.
“The need for bioaerosols was defined by the pandemic, and Element is pleased to bring the industry this new, much-needed capability to fulfill emerging and critical testing needs. Precise and accurate air quality testing will be critical for public health for the future,” said Dr. Elisabeth Lackner, CSO of Element. “The capability of the new Eagan lab is a shining example of how Element teams with customers to meet their evolving market demands. We are helping customers to establish purposefully designed bioaerosol R&D level protocols that provide a strong foundation for future GLP-compliant testing.”
Element has industry-leading experience with antimicrobial testing of fogging and misting devices, and now without size constraints, the Eagan lab offers real-world modeling of habitable spaces such as hospitals, schools, and other large spaces. Element’s applied microbiologists teamed with industry experts to design its 7,500-cubic foot biocontainment lab that can be used in a dual or single capacity allowing for simultaneous testing of control and treated space under the same conditions. Various size configurations of, but not limited to, 107m3 and 214m3 can be accommodated. In addition to managing multiple air handling scenarios, including the introduction of fresh or recirculated air, the facility has the unique capacity to test BSL-2 organisms including mammalian viruses.
“Previously designed for a specific testing project, today marks the formal opening of this unique facility,” said Kelly Lauer, General Manager, Element Eagan. “Element has proudly provided antimicrobial testing services and support in partnership with the developers, manufacturers, and users of antimicrobial pesticide and biocide products for more than 30 years. With the addition of this leading-edge bioaerosol testing facility in Eagan, Element continues its history of innovation.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aims to release guidance for air treatments in 2022 or early 2023, and Element has played an instrumental role in developing a standard test method for EPA-approved public health claims for air treatments, collaborating with regulatory, academic, and industry experts.
Element’s global life sciences division includes more than 1,400 scientists, chemists, and technologists working across a network of laboratories to deliver complete and comprehensive scientific solutions that support customers’ end-to-end product development lifecycle from early R&D through complex regulatory approvals, into production and beyond.