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December 12, 2023

SafeTraces Launches First-Ever Aerosol-Based Commissioning Service to Measure and Verify the Germicidal Impact of UV-C Fixtures in Real-World Settings

Pleasanton, CA, Dec 12 - SafeTraces, a market leader in technology-enabled performance testing of HVAC and air cleaning systems, announced today its launch of the first-ever aerosol-based commissioning service to measure and verify the germicidal impact of UV-C fixtures in real world settings. This groundbreaking service is delivered in partnership with Aerosol Research and Engineering Laboratories (ARE Labs), a market-leading full-service engineering and testing laboratory specializing in aerosol science. 

Building on SafeTraces’ existing commissioning service for HVAC systems and air cleaners, this new service is immediately available for commercial use by building owner-operators, service providers, product manufacturers, and researchers. 

SafeTraces’ aerosol-based commissioning service for UV-C fixtures consists of two components: 

  1. In partnership with ARE Labs Inc., SafeTraces is providing aerosol-based testing services for UV-C fixtures in test chambers based on requirements for ASHRAE Standard 241, Control of Infectious Aerosols. In addition to MS2 bacteriophage, testing will be performed with SafeTraces’ DNA-tagged aerosol particles to quantify a fixture-specific scaling factor between the two methods for transferability to real world settings.

  1. In partnership with certified partners, SafeTraces is providing a service for commissioning UV-C fixtures to their installed performance in real world settings using SafeTraces’ DNA-tagged aerosol particles. 

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, respiratory infections have increased significantly with coronavirus becoming endemic in addition to influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Relative to pre-pandemic levels, the U.S. has experienced increased rates of death, hospitalization, and absenteeism, as well as negative impacts to worker productivity and student performance, collectively responsible for tens of billions of dollars of medical and economic costs annually. 

In response, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have published new performance guidelines and code-enforceable requirements in 2023 for the control of infectious aerosols via air ventilation, filtration, and air cleaning and disinfection.

According to research studies, UV-C is highly effective for the inactivation of airborne pathogens and highly energy-efficient relative to other engineering controls. However, implementation of UV-C in public buildings has been under-utilized due to persistent market questions regarding real-world product efficacy, safety, and cost. Historically, germicidal efficacy testing of UV-C fixtures has been limited to controlled test chambers due to practical limitations regarding the use of biological aerosols in public buildings. Consequently, test results don’t always accurately approximate real world conditions that impact product performance including room-level air distribution, air supply and exhaust relationships, and dynamic building occupancy levels. 

SafeTraces’ UV-C fixture commissioning service bridges the gap between test chamber and real-world testing. Developed with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), SafeTraces has developed safe, sterile DNA-tagged aerosol particles that mimic airborne pathogen behavior and response to inactivation dosages in order to serve as a challenge agent to HVAC systems, air cleaners, and now UV-C fixtures. This added capability to measure and verify the germicidal efficacy of UV-C fixtures in real world settings represents the latest breakthrough innovation in SafeTraces’ market-leading veriDART platform, already in commercial use among corporate, healthcare, education, and government clients including Amazon, Goldman Sachs, and Atlanta Public Schools.

“We are on a relentless mission to ensure safe clean air for all, to decarbonize real estate, and to break scientific and technological barriers,” said Erik Malmstrom, SafeTraces CEO. “UV-C is an incredibly promising product category for infection control and energy efficiency in buildings. But how well do these fixtures perform in real world settings? Until now, we haven’t really known. However, SafeTraces’ UV-C fixture commissioning service will provide the answers. We’re excited to launch this groundbreaking service in partnership with ARE Labs at a time when the world needs it more than ever.” 

"ARE Labs is proud to be a global leader in aerosol science at the intersection of research and practice and at the bleeding edge of technology and innovation,” said Jamie Balarashti, President of ARE Labs. “SafeTraces' UV-C fixture testing service is truly groundbreaking by extending our understanding of germicidal impact from controlled test chambers to the messiness of real world settings. We are thrilled to partner with SafeTraces to integrate the market leading capabilities of both companies in order to answer previously un-answerable questions."


About SafeTraces

SafeTraces, a leader in sustainable indoor air quality, provides the only IAQ verification that actively measures pathogen risk. SafeTraces helps everyone breathe easier with patented aerosol tracing technology, backed by the first UL mark for verified ventilation and filtration.