As the world is gradually adjusting to a new normal and people spend more time indoors, experts and local officials are beginning to consider the role that air filtration and ventilation can play in slowing the spread of COVID- 19 indoors.
Recently, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that all major New York shopping malls should “install air filtration systems that can filter the COVID virus” before reopening.
This requirement comes from infectious disease experts who are more aggressively studying how the virus can be spread by inhaling small particles that can linger in the air for hours, also known as aerosols.
“Now that we understand more about this virus, there is a consensus that aerosol transmission plays an important role in the transmission of the virus,” said Dr. Rajat Mittal, professor of mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins University. study the dynamics of COVID. 19 particles and masking effect.
Whenever we inhale or open our mouths to speak, we can exhale or inhale particles that may contain infectious viruses.
“You don’t have to cough or do anything hard to get these drops out of your mouth, and if you have a mouth infection, those particles can carry the virus,” says Dr. Jodie Dionne-Odom, assistant professor in the department of diseases. infectious diseases of the UAB. . “I’m in the air and someone coming up behind you only has to breathe the air to get the infection.”
This risk of contagion with these small particles is particularly high in confined spaces, such as offices and restaurants, where the air does not circulate as frequently and many people spend a lot of time and in direct contact with each other. Experts agree that effective ventilation is likely an important part of safely resuming indoor activities.
“Clearly, cleaning surfaces is still important, but cleaning the air that circulates in buildings is now a big goal,” said Nancy McClellan, industrial hygiene specialist.
Efficient ventilation can clean the recirculating air while filtering small and potentially infectious particles. Experts are also evaluating special technologies that can disinfect incoming viral particles, such as ultraviolet light.
“There are some really fascinating technologies, but they are not being adopted quickly or cheaply, and the research they are doing is not yet available,” said Dr. David Krause, the certified industrial hygienist who owns Healthcare Consulting. and Contracting (HC3) and is currently leading the American Industrial Hygiene Association initiative to develop recommendations for technical inspections in non-sanitary work areas.
Experts agree that the most practical method for small businesses and homeowners today is highly efficient particulate air filtration (HEPA) systems. HEPA filters can theoretically remove at least 99.97% of 0.3-micron particles, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Overcrowded indoor spaces and long-term close contact with people can be risky, even with better ventilation, because virus containing particles can get to you before it has a chance to leak.
“You can’t ignore cleanliness and hygiene and avoid crowded places.”
Castellex is a UK based manufacturer of sophisticated purification systems and stand-alone air purifiers. The company’s Bio Series Air Purifiers are highly effective and offer unparalleled protection against airborne diseases in enclosed spaces.