For those not familiar with the world of Health & Hygiene services and products, some of the terms and acronyms may appear to be a little inaccessible. In this glossary, we’ve broken down the most commonly used terms in the hygiene sector, to shine some light on what is, inarguably, a hugely important part of hospitality.

Cruise Ship Interiors Expo Europe (CSIE) recently launched the Health & Hygiene Zone. As we all know, the cruise industry featured heavily in the limelight at the outset of the outbreak, leading to a damaged public reputation and no-sail orders. However, every cloud has a silver lining, and this cloud has led to a revolution in public health awareness, bringing with it innovative designs, products, and solutions from all areas of the commercial world. With a dedicated space on the CSIE show floor, the Health & Hygiene Zone will provide cruise executives with a go-to place for solutions to sanitisation in housekeeping, dining, public areas, and more.

The below is by no means an exhaustive list – if there are any terms that you think should be in this glossary, please get in touch at

HEPA Filters

A HEPA filter is a high-quality air filter, that meets the HEPA filter standard. The HEPA filter standard is removing at least 99.97% of particles from the air, down to at least 0.3 microns in size. The acronym HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. EU Health Gateways guidance, produced to provide cruise lines with a set of guidelines to follow to sail in Europe, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), say that HEPA filters have demonstrated good performance with particles of the SARS-Cov-2 virus size.


HVAC is an acronym for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, and is the technology of indoor comfort. The goal of HVAC is to provide thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality. Ventilation systems (the V in HVAC) provide clean air by exchanging indoor and outdoor air, and filtering. ECDC guidance says that well-maintained HVAC systems securely filter large droplets containing SARS-CoV-2.


VOC’s are Volatile Organic Compounds. These are compounds that easily become vapours or gases, and are released from burning fuel, as well as from cigarettes, solvents, and other consumer products. In the cruise industry, these can be present when ships manoeuvre at ports at arrival or departure, and can be eliminated through good ventilation and air purification.


PM2.5 refers to atmospheric particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers. In a cruise setting, these can come from ships engines. As they are so small, they tend to stay in the air for longer than heavier particles, increasing the chances of inhaling them. HEPA filters are able to remove PM2.5 from the air.

UV-C Lighting and Disinfection

UV-C radiation is a known disinfectant for air, water, and surface, helping to reduce the risk of catching infections. It has been used extensively for more than 40 years, and is effective on SARS-CoV-2 viruses. It is a proven disinfectant against viruses, bacteria, moulds, and spores, and is invisible to the human eye!


A HCAI is a Health Care Associated Infection. These are infections resulting from medical care or treatments in a hospital setting, or other care setting.


Often used in the cruise industry to describe particular fabrics, textiles, or surfaces, ‘antimicrobials’ are agents that destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms. These can include disinfectants, such as bleach; antiseptics, which are applied to living tissue; and antibiotics, which destroy microorganisms within the body. Antimicrobial fabrics are commonly used for medical bedding, curtains, and uniforms.


Sanitisation is the reduction of bacteria to safe levels. The CDC say that a sanitiser is a chemical that kills 99.999% of a bacteria in 30 seconds.


Similar, but slightly different to sanitisation, disinfection has the added benefit of eliminating pathogens.

This is by no means an exhaustive list – if you think we’ve missed anything out here, please get in touch and let us know at