Case Study – Monash University School of Applied Sciences Report
Lab Studies Biocidal Activity of Airborne Tea Tree Oil in a Model HVAC System
The purpose of the test was to determine the effect of vaporized tea tree oil on organisms commonly found in HVAC systems. It has been commonly assumed that heating ventilation and air conditioning systems are a source of indoor bioaerosol contaminants. Monash University scientists were asked to study the efficacy of tea tree oil vapor – airborne tea tree oil – in a model AC duct system. Numerous studies had previously shown the effectiveness of tea tree oil in controlling various molds and biocontaminants when applied directly but this study proved that tea tree oil is highly effective when dispersed in the air as well.
A model air duct was set up to allow for repeatable experiments. Test “filters” were contaminated with E.coli bacteria and a common yeast fungi called C.albicans. Various tests were conducted exposing the contaminated filters to airborne tea tree oil generated by airflow over the GermXit gel and also control tests without tea tree oil in the system.
Results clearly showed that tea tree oil is evaporated into the system by airflow and that airborne tea tree oil is effective in controlling microorganisms by being dispersed in the air.
“Under the conditions of the experiment, [GermXit]* gel had a measurable biocidal effect on E.coli [and C.albicans]” – Monash University Report
Previous to this scientific study the effectiveness of tea tree oil had only been laboratory tested using a direct contact method with the organism
“Furthermore the present study has demonstrated that [GermXit]* gel has the potential to be a useful decontamination agent in HVAC duct systems– Monash University Report