With COVID, its variants, and in light of future viral epidemics or even pandemics down the road, air purification has taken on new importance. For many years, Beyond Health sold Austin Air Purifiers, and we still recommend them as our choice among the air purifiers available today.
Recently we received some news from Austin about a new German study by a team of researchers from Goethe University in Frankfurt on using HEPA air filtration in classrooms as a way to keep students and teachers safe from the COVID virus. This study has relevance for anyone concerned about the spread of viruses in enclosed spaces.
It has become increasingly clear that the main method of transmission for COVID-19 is airborne. Tiny particles of the virus are aerosolized when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or even talks. These aerosolized droplets have the ability to travel significant distances and can remain suspended in the air, even after the infected person has left the room.
A person with COVID-19 is most contagious three days before they show any symptoms, and as many as one in three people with the virus show no symptoms at all. Although the vaccines currently being administered have greatly reduced the risk of contracting and transmitting the virus, they have not entirely eliminated the risk of pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals infecting others.
The new German study showed that HEPA air purifiers reduce particles by 90% in half an hour. For the study, airborne particles were measured in two classrooms, with windows and doors closed. Two HEPA air purifiers were then installed in one of the classrooms. After 30 minutes, particle levels were reduced by 90% in the classroom with HEPA air purifiers.
To measure the extent to which this reduced the risk of infection from COVID-19, the team also calculated the number of viral particles dispersed into a room when a highly contagious person is present. According to their calculations, using a HEPA air purifier in the same classroom as an infectious person will reduce the risk of an ‘inhaled dose’ by six.
The results are clear: Using HEPA air filtration in indoor spaces will help to lower the risk of contracting the virus.
There are many reasons why Beyond Health recommends air purification in every home, especially the bedroom. The average American breathes in about two heaping tablespoons of airborne particles daily. Most indoor air is two to five times, sometimes a hundred times, more polluted than outdoors. Building materials, carpets, furnishings, household appliances, water heaters and furnaces, fumes from household products and more contribute to indoor air pollution, increasing the risk of allergies, asthma, cancer, heartbeat irregularities, immune suppression and even genetic mutations.
We can now add protection from viruses as another reason to protect your home with one or more air filters.