Antimicrobial capsules were evaluated for their effectiveness to control bacterial contamination of cool mist humidifiers. These capsules contain a mixture of silver and copper promoted alumina beads designed to release low concentrations of these oligodynamic metals into the reservoir water for bacteria control. The reservoir water and mist droplets from the humidifier units were tested for the presence of bacteria over a three-week period. A control unit (without capsule) showed significant bacterial contamination by day three, which increased throughout the three-week test period, in both the reservoir and mist droplets, whereas the antimicrobial capsules reduced contamination during the first week, and minimized the presence of bacteria, in both the reservoir water and mist droplets, to less than 2% of the control unit throughout the three-week test period. It was also observed that, after each inactive weekend, the initial discharge of bacteria via the mist droplets in the control unit was significantly higher than during daily use. However, initial bacterial discharge from the test unit following weekend inactivity never exceeded 0.5% of the control unit. In conclusion, these capsules containing oligodynamic metals are effective in controlling bacteria growth in humidifier water tanks and mist droplets.

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