MSU & CASPR Group: Installing Campus-Wide Elevator Disinfecting Devices
Michigan State University Utilizes CASPR Group’s Elevator Disinfecting Devices
As a senior industrial hygienist for Michigan State University (MSU), David Erickson’s typical job responsibilities include managing occupational and industrial safety practices across campus. But when COVID-19 hit, his daily duties took a sharp turn.
How MSU is Handling COVID-19
“Now my responsibilities include evaluating and controlling health hazards in the environment,” Erickson said. “I’m also part of an HVAC/COVID-19 committee that includes lead mechanical engineers, and we are focused on addressing current mechanical conditions.”
Erickson’s job is to ensure that the operational and mechanical systems are optimized to promote the healthiest environments possible, so that those who return to campus in the future can feel safe and comfortable no matter where they are. In addition to the measures above, he and his team have explored new technologies that are designed to eliminate pathogens and contaminants in small spaces, such as the campus’ hundreds of elevators.
MSU is home to several cutting edge research facilities, including the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a scientist from the facility began researching prevention measures and discovered an academic paper that discussed various options, one of which was the use of air purification and disinfecting technology.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “When used properly, air cleaners and HVAC filters can help reduce airborne contaminants including viruses in a building or small space.”
The EPA goes on to advise that “portable air cleaners may be particularly helpful when additional ventilation with outdoor air is not possible without compromising indoor comfort (temperature or humidity), or when outdoor air pollution is high.”
The scientist from the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams brought their findings to Erickson. He and his team began researching air purification systems for university buildings and soon discovered the CASPR 200e.
The CASPR 200e: Commercial Elevator Air & Surface Disinfection
CASPR Group — which stands for Continuous Air & Surface Pathogen Reduction — develops hands-free disinfection products that reduce the presence of pathogens both in an environment and on surfaces. The continuous disinfecting technology combines special UV lighting and a photocatalyst target to create an advanced oxidation process that mimics the naturally occurring processes of outside environments.
The company is well-known in Europe, Asia and South America, and in 2016 they introduced the technology to the U.S. healthcare market. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and small, crowded spaces with limited airflow became troublesome, the technology was adapted for elevators.
The CASPR 200e is a compact, virtually silent solution that is effective in elevators up to 200 sq.ft. “The solution is approved by ASHRAE [The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers], which is important for any new technology I introduce on campus,” said Erickson.
While the technology has not been specifically tested with COVID-19, it has proved effective against similar coronaviruses, such as SARS and H1N1, and the approved COVID-19 surrogate, MS2.
The Specifications & Details
For Erickson, CASPR seemed to be the ideal solution. But with the safety of elevator passengers in mind, he still had a few key questions:
· Does the unit produce ozone?
The CASPR 200e does not produce ozone, which is a harmful compound that can lead to an allergic reaction.
· Does it emit hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)?
The solution produces very small, safe amounts of H2O2 at similar levels that you would experience when exposed to sunlight outdoors.
· How difficult is maintenance?
The only maintenance CASPR requires is an annual bulb replacement which can easily be completed by any facilities team member.
· How are the devices regulated?
CASPR is produced in an EPA-registered facility, and accordingly, reports to the EPA quarterly.
· How will the devices affect elevator passengers?
The solution is virtually silent and undetectable once installed, so noise is not an issue. The only thing passengers may notice is a glow from the CASPR device.
Implementation & Plans for the Future
CASPR Group was quick to answer Erickson’s questions, so the next step was to implement the devices.
MSU started by testing two CASPR 200e units in the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams. The solutions were easy to install, barely noticeable when set up and worked exactly how CASPR claimed they would.
After a successful test run, Erickson made plans to install a CASPR 200e in every elevator on campus that made three or more stops, with the priority being throughout the dorm buildings. MSU will ultimately have at least 300 units installed throughout campus.
“Leadership couldn’t be happier with CASPR and we are exploring options to add similar solutions to certain rooms throughout campus,” said Erickson.
Stanley Elevator is devoted to the safety of all elevator passengers, which is why we are proud to partner with CASPR for the implementation of effective disinfecting solutions. For more information, send us a message through the Stanley Innovation site here.