In the ongoing fight against the coronavirus, people have questioned whether an air purifier would be of any assistance in reducing the risk of exposure. While many air purifiers do not filter at a level small enough to inhibit the virus, Molekule has just announced the Air Pro RX, a new medical-grade air purifier, has received 510(k) Class II Medical Device clearance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Air Pro RX uses the same PECO filters as other Molekule devices and is intended to capture and destroy bacteria and viruses in the air. While the Air Pro RX is intended for use in medical facilities, Molekule says there are plans to release a commercial-grade air purifier for use in office buildings, schools, grocery stores, and other high-traffic locations.
Third-party labs tested the Air Pro RX and found it removed up to 99.999% of SARS-CoV-2 proxy viruses. One lab tested the device’s ability to eliminate Phi X 174, a virus with many similarities to SARS-CoV-2, and found it reduced concentrations of the virus by 98.7% over two hours. Another virus with similarities to influenza was reduced by 99.999% within 24 hours.
A few hospitals have already announced plans to implement the Air Pro RX in its facilities to help safeguard frontline healthcare workers and visitors by placing the air purifiers in waiting rooms and emergency rooms.
To receive FDA guidance, a medical device must meet all recommended guidelines. The Air Pro RX meets the performance criteria recommended by the FDA guidelines for reducing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare settings and has proven more effective than comparable air purifiers.
The Air Pro RX is designed to begin working as soon as it is plugged in, with no prior setup required. It uses two filters: a Pre-Filter for capturing large particles, and a PECO (Photo Electrochemical Oxidation) filter to capture smaller particles like bacteria and viruses. The Air Pro RX can be cleaned and sanitized using the same wipe-down protocol standard in most medical facilities.
With technology capable of reducing the spread of some of the most common and harmful viruses and bacteria, the Air Pro RX is in a prime position to protect healthcare workers and hospital visitors. In time, commercial versions of this device will improve the air quality of public areas and make a trip to the grocery store that much safer.
Correction: This article previously stated the Molekule Air Pro RX is FDA-certified. It’s been cleared, but not certified.