The Importance of Air Ventilation and Filtration in Minimizing COVID-19 Transmissions in Schools
Reports of outbreaks in settings with poor ventilation suggest that infectious aerosols were suspended in the air and that people inhaled the virus. These settings have included choir practices, fitness classes, restaurants and schools.
Kids being in schools require an astute and multi-pronged approach to keeping them safe to prevent COVID-19 transmissions between students and staff. Some of these measures include:
Sanitizing stations at entry points and other key areas
Social distancing of at least 2 metres (6 feet) between students and staff
Mandatory masks for everyone
Proper indoor air filtration to decrease the concentration of aerosols that may be suspended in the air
CLEANING THE AIR IS KEY
1) Source control: Controlling the source of the infection is important. It can be done by wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and staying home when ill.
2)Improved Ventilation: Inflow and out flow of air is essential. Keeping the windows open and holding classes outdoors can be helpful in keeping the aerosols (small respiratory droplets) in control. But this again is apt during warmer temperatures and not suitable during winters.
3) Air Filtration: While ventilation can only keep the aerosols moving with air around the building and does not capture it. The HEPA filter can trap the virus on the surface of the filter and prevent it from escaping back into the airstream.
CLEANING THE AIR IS KEY TO REDUCING VIRAL SPREADSARS CoV-2 particles can remain suspended in the air for hours. More ventilation and better filtration can reduce on the number of airborne particles that linger when an infected person coughs or exhales indoors. Airborne infection is 15 to 20 times more likely to occur indoors than outdoors. 1) Source control: Controlling the source of the infection is important. It can be done by wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and staying home when ill. 2) Improved Ventilation: Inflow and out flow of air is essential. Keeping the windows open and holding classes outdoors can be helpful in keeping the aerosols (small respiratory droplets) in control. But this again is apt during warmer temperatures and not suitable during winters. 3) Air Filtration: While ventilation can only keep the aerosols moving with air around the building and does not capture it. How often the indoor air gets filtered (cleaned) before being recirculated is also important. Cleaning the air with a portable filtration device containing both a HEPA filter and a UV germicidal lamp will ensure that remaining virus particles that don’t get moved out fast enough with existing ventilation systems get removed.
How does the combination of HEPA Filters and Germicidal UV light work in removing virus particles?
Air filtration using HEPA filters have become a critical weapon in the fight against the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The HEPA filter can trap the virus on the surface of the filter and prevent it from escaping back into the airstream. The fibers in a HEPA filter are designed to trap particles as small as 0.3 micron in diameter — just a tiny fraction of the width of a human hair. The UV germicidal lamp provides a critical extra level of protection by irradiating the virus rendering it completely sterile. Airborne and aerosolized viruses, bacteria, mold, chemicals and particles go through powerful filtration for near complete removal.
UVC radiation is a known disinfectant for air, water, and nonporous surfaces. UVC radiation has effectively been used for decades to reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses, such as tuberculosis. For this reason, UVC lamps are often called "germicidal"
UVC radiation has been shown to alter the DNA of the SARS-Cov-2 virus. The alteration leads to inactivation of the virus.
UVC radiation is commonly used inside air ducts to disinfect the air. This is the safest way to employ UVC radiation because direct UVC exposure to human skin or eyes may cause injuries, and installation of UVC within an air duct is less likely to cause exposure to skin and eyes. Some UVC lamps generate ozone. Ozone inhalation can be irritating to the airway which adversely affects the lungs in many ways.
If a UV air purifier on the market produces higher than the recommended ozone level, it can create a health risk for you and your family. The UV lamps used in Airpura are classified as ‘Non-Ozone generating lamps. The Airpura air purifiers are also CARB compliant.
Can an Air Purifier in a School Reduce COVID-19 transmissions?
It is important to know how COVID-19 is spread to understand the role of air purifiers in reduction of COVID-19 transmissions. The primary means of transmissions are:
Short-distance droplet transmission: Small particles are expelled from infected individuals while exhaling or talking. These respiratory droplets range in size from 0.125 to 5 microns and can remain airborne indefinitely.
When these smaller particles pass through an air purifier with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA), they stick onto the surface of the HEPA and are trapped, effectively being removed from the air in the room. HEPA filters can remove particles as small as 0.3 micron which is well within the constructs of being able to handle the SARS CoV-2 virus particles. The UV germicidal lamp is an added level of protection that irradiates the surface of the HEPA and destroys the DNA of these trapped pathogens.
Of course, the virus particles must physically travel to where the air purifier is located and then be drawn into the air purifier in order to be removed from the air. An air purifier must be capable of drawing in enough air consistently in order to reduce the amount of virus particles in the air. The faster that an air purifier can accomplish this, the better chance that your air will be virus-free.
Long distance droplet transmission: Larger particles can also be expelled from infected individuals when they cough or sneeze, however these heavier particles fall to the ground, so an air purifier would have limited usefulness in this case.
The New Danger: COVID-19 Variants
Variants are now spreading quickly among schoolchildren. This is a more evolved and contagious form of the virus that will spread to teachers and family members. Children that get infected with Covid-19, are also more susceptible to developing a rare condition called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C. This mysterious inflammatory syndrome has appeared in thousands of pediatric Covid-19 cases. The symptoms are fever, red eyes, and digestive problems but can lead to heart dysfunction and even death.
Independent study that Demonstrates the Proven Performance of Airpura Air Purifiers Against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19)
An independent study conducted by researchers at Rutgers University has concluded that the Airpura air purifiers effectively removes viral-sized particles such as SARS-CoV-2 from the air.
Even the circumferential air outflow design of the Airpura air purifiers make them less likely than air purifiers with vertical exhausts to disperse droplets from coughing or sneezing throughout the air. This unique air outflow process of our air purifiers reduces the potential of one infected person causing an infection cluster
Air purifiers with HEPA +UVC germicidal lamps were placed in a COVID-19 ICU ward. After purifiers were turned on, virions of airborne SARS-CoV-2 were removed. This study is real-world evidence that air purifiers with both HEPA and UV germicidal lamp technology are effective against COVID-19!
Read studies here: https://www.airpura.com/pages/research-and-studies
Schools that did not install air purifiers in their classrooms have 3 to 4 times more SARS-CoV-2 cases:
Can an Air Purifier Spread around Virus particles?
This is a complete myth that cannot be corroborated with any study. If you delve into the constructs of any "study" that claims this, you will be that the tests were done on air purifiers without the filters in them. They did not evaluate the mechanism inside the purifier that can trap and kill particles. To not consider any filtration or virion inactivation within the air purifier is talking about a fan and NOT an air purifier. This has the same validity as saying that “cars are only good for sitting in”, not taking into account the motor, the suspension, the wheels and motor.
The best air purifier against SARS-CoV-2 transmission in schools is:
UV600: 40 square feet of HEPA 99.97% @0.3 microns, 18 lbs of Carbon, Prefilter and UV lamp for added protection against viruses
Other good option:
I600: 100 square feet of HEPA, 99.97% @0.3 microns, prefilter
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE OF AIRPURA'S PROVEN PERFORMANCE AGAINST SARS-CoV-2