Caution: MERV16 rated filters may potentially give operators an unacceptable exposure to particulates at the 0.3 micron range.
CAF does not approve/condone the MERV16 rating system because:
1 The MERV 16 rating covers such a wide range that it becomes useless/misleading.
a. NIOSH/OSHA have tested/approved MERV 16 filters that are at the upper end of the range. The test data on these filters show that they are very good.
However, the filters that lie at the lower end of the MERV 16 range have only recently been tested by CAF. The enclosed test reports validate that these filters are unacceptable.
The wide range of MERV 16 allows a manufacturer to submit a high end MERV 16 filter for testing/validation/promotion purposes, and yet offer a lower end MERV 16 filter for sale to the end user and still be technically correct within the definition of MERV 16.
Our test data shows that this is a reality.
2. The MERV 16 method of averaging particle counts from 0.3 microns to 1 micron can result in a MERV 16 filter that provides unacceptable concentrations at the 0.3um level.
a. The test data shows that a MERV 16 tested/labeled filter can have an efficiency at 0.3 microns as low as 59.95%.
Please note that this testing was performed utilizing OPC optical particle counters, which is the methodology acknowledged by both the EN and ASABE Standards.
Our competitors MERV 16 labeled filter had an average efficiency of 65.85% at 0.3 micron. The CAF47R had an efficiency of 99.9% at 0.3 micron.
When compared to the CAF47R, our competitors MERV 16 operator will receive a full year’s exposure at 0.3microns each and every day.
When you consider the consequences of this type of exposure to silica, asbestos, etc., it is easy to see why CAF deems it unacceptable and negligent to use MERV 16.
When NIOSH was testing ASABE S525 cabs and encountered this type of exposure, they required the operator to wear respirator. This type of evaluation is not available to the majority of end users who do not have a “managed program” at their disposal. They rely on the competence of Standards Committees and government regulators to provide the best possible recommendations.