According to research, Indoor air pollution can severely affect the embryonic development leading to lower success rates at IVF labs. Indoor spaces have several pollutants like paint, adhesives, floor wax, cleaning materials, cosmetics and cigarette smoke. When these pollutants settle on the surface where the work is carried out then there is a possibility of these pollutants mixing with the aqueous solution of the embryo. The embryos certainly cannon protect themselves against these pollutants and hence get affected leading to failure.
What are the factors that contribute significantly towards indoor air quality in IVF labs?
Location of the IVF lab: Make sure your lab is not in pollution prone areas
IVF labs in urban areas are usually located close to busy roads and car parks. The outdoor air pollution from the vehicles can then easily seep in to the lab. It is essential to keep a watch on the location of the air intakes of the laboratory. If the laboratory is located in a hospital then the challenge of pollution would come in if located near a laundry room, histology or sterilizing room.
Cleanliness of the IVF lab: Adapting to Clean Room Technologies
For IVF labs to achieve a good success rate it is very essential to maintain strict regulatory standards for controlling the particulates in air and monitor molecular air quality. The furniture in the lab and the cloth used to clean it should be checked and clean room approved. Sliding doors, drains and sinks can hinder the air quality and hence these should be avoided. The lighting in the room should be sealed within lighting units to control the air borne particles.Ducts and pipes that are not insulated internally can lead to accumulation of dust. The same would occur from porous walls, uneven and broken surfaces.
Air Quality of the adjacent room: A challenge to maintain but a necessity
The process of oocyte retrieval and embryo transfer requires cooperation with the adjacent operating theatres, which creates a challenge for IVF labs to maintain good air quality inside the room. It is required that the adjacent room have the same positive pressure as the IVF lab and the changing rooms be as clean as possible.
New Equipment: Attention to their “off-gassing” stage
Every equipment that has been bought recently has a stage where it dissipates VOCs that are produced during manufacture. If the equipment is present inside the lab during its off-gassing stage then it could impact the pregnancy rate severely. Therefore, it is always advisable to keep the equipment separately when it is in the stage of releasing VOCs.
Restricted Access to IVF Lab: Stopping any chances of outdoor pollution coming in
Entry to the IVF Lab should be monitored strictly and access to unauthorized personnel, packages and other materials should be discouraged. In few cases the staff can turn out to be pollutants in a clean environment. Hence general hygiene must be maintained.
Renovation of the IVF Lab: Risking success rate at the hands of emission
When an existing laboratory goes under renovation, its operations are put under the risk of variety of emissions and harmful compounds. The constituents that are used in finishing can have hazardous effect on the embryo development. Usually paints and adhesives carry alkanes, aromatics, alcohol, ketones etc. Use of epoxy paints should be avoided as they emit VOCs and they take several weeks to cure.