Part 2 of IVF in China: Cleaner Laboratory Air Boosts Success.
Read Part 1 here.
IVF Labs Aren’t Operating Rooms
Around the globe, IVF regulating authorities are paying more attention to laboratory air quality — a welcome development, to be sure. But there’s one problem: government regulations tend to treat IVF labs as if they were surgical facilities.
In other words, licensing requirements focus on infection control, rather than control of VOCs, aldehydes, particulate matter, and other chemical emissions.
In its consensus paper, the expert Cairo noted this discrepancy: “Although this might sound a prudent approach, these requirements do not consider the unique needs of the ART laboratory, where the environment must cause the lowest levels of physicochemical stress possible to the gametes and embryos.”
Particularly harmful are VOCs, emitted from products that contain compounds refined from petroleum. In the lab setting, these products are everywhere. They include painted surfaces, ceiling tiles, cabinets made of manufactured wood, even stainless-steel furniture that has been oiled — all can emit gaseous chemicals toxic to embryos.
So too can microscopes, monitors, and incubators. The fact is, when manufacturers select components for lab equipment, they prioritize durability and cost, not the effects of volatile organic compounds.
Clinic staff, too, can inadvertently contribute to the lab’s air pollution, by wearing VOC-emitting deodorants, shampoos, lotions, and cosmetics. The detergents used to launder scrubs also can harbour toxic compounds.
What’s more, lab personnel who’ve been around cigarette smokers can introduce third-hand smoke toxins into the room via their skin or clothing. In China, 53% of men smoke, so this is no small consideration.
VOCs are generated 24 hours a day, and they react with the indoor ozone, producing submicron-sized particles and harmful by-products linked to poor IVF outcomes.
But it’s not just VOCs and air particulate that can degrade developing embryos. Biologic pathogens — viruses, bacteria, fungi — also can float around, compromising implantation success.
A lab’s air-filtration system is among the most critical safeguards for its patients’ embryos. Yet many fertility clinics, in China and globally, do not adequately purify their laboratory air.
“The level of incidental chemical exposure is largely uncontrolled in many assisted reproductive technology (ART) facilities worldwide,” the Cairo team wrote.
One reason: clinics may not realize how dramatically air quality can affect implantation and live birth rates.
Cleaner Lab Air Leads to More Live Births
The evidence, however, is compelling. Consider an American study conducted at a military-based IVF clinic: After the clinic moved to a new building with advanced air filtration, its embryo implantation rate rose from 24.3 to 32.4%, and its live birth rate increased from 31.8% to 39.3%. Nothing else had changed — not the staff, the patient profiles, the equipment, or the protocols.
At a Brazilian clinic, live birth rates increased from 25.8% to 35.6% and miscarriage rates decreased from 28.7% to 20% in the first four months after air quality in the lab was improved.
Novaerus: Helping China Achieve IVF Success
IVF laboratories throughout Asia are paying more attention to particulate removal, taking more care to choose paints, furniture, cleaning supplies, and other products safer for embryos.
Still, most IVF clinics, in China and elsewhere, lack the structural design to keep contaminants completely out of the lab. That’s why cutting-edge air dis-infection is essential.
Thanks to Novaerus technology, dis-infecting laboratory air is now far less cumbersome and expensive than it was in the past. It’s also more effective than many systems currently in use.
For example, HEPA filtration, although widely used to disinfect the air, works by trapping pathogens, rather than killing them, and is not effective at trapping VOCs. UV, another air-sanitization method, can be too aggressive and can result in the formation of eye conditions such as cataracts. Hydrogen peroxide can irritate the skin and damage surfaces and instruments within the lab.
By contrast, Novaerus’s patented ultra-low energy plasma technology is safe for continuous use around staff and developing embryos alike. The system neutralises VOCs, kills airborne pathogens, adsorbs odours, and traps particulate as small as 0.12µm. The Defend 1050 (NV1050), a free-standing unit, can be wheeled easily and plugs into any outlet.
In short, Novaerus is unmatched in terms of efficacy, safety, ease of use, and affordability.
Novaerus has partnered with Guangzhou Zooming Instrument Ltd., one of China’s largest lab equipment suppliers. Headquarter in Guangzhou, Guangzhou Zooming Instrument is known for bringing cutting-edge technology to fertility labs throughout China, currently working with over 400 reproductive facilities nationwide. Novaerus, together with Guangzhou Zooming Instrument, are committed to bringing Novaerus ultra-low energy patented plasma technology to top reproductive centres throughout China.
Fostering China’s Baby Boom
It is no exaggeration to say China’s future depends on boosting its fertility rate. The stakes are that high.
And the challenges are many, given China’s outdoor air pollution, the trend toward delaying motherhood, and the declining sperm count and quality among Chinese men.
Clinics that use Novaerus technology can feel confident they are doing everything possible to protect their patients’ embryos and therefore boost China’s fertility rate.