Improving indoor air quality in the pandemic
In July WHO had suggested airborne precaution of COVID-19 transmission. Although there is no clear evidence of airborne transmission to date, there have been cases related to indoor crowded places where transmission is thought to occur through aerosols that are carried by air currents and inhaled directly or attached to the surface of objects.
Wearing masks, washing hands, using hand sanitizer and cleaning critical touch points using disinfection are now widely known to prevent COVID-19 transmission through droplets. Meanwhile, to fight against airborne pathogens in a closed indoor area, it is recommended to use an air purifier unit to help circulate and clean the air quality.
Air purifier traps and filters infectious particles from the air and delivers cleaned air to a closed indoor room with insufficient circulation.
Each layer of filters contained in an air purifier unit has different functions. The first layer is usually referred as pre-filter – a tight sieve layer that traps bigger pollutants such as dust, mites, pollen and animal dander. To capture invisible airborne particles such as viruses, bacteria and fungi, a mat of randomly arranged fiber is used as the main filter, widely known as high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
In addition, an air purifier is often complimented with an active carbon filter. This filter captures smoke, odour, chemical residue such as formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds.
Another kind of air purifier offers a purpose of actively killing viruses, bacteria and germs. For example, those with UV or plasma technology which are capable of decomposing harmful pathogens.
But what about air purifiers that do not have this function, you may be wondering: are they any less effective in eliminating airborne viruses?
As long as your air purifier has a well-functioning filter and is used effectively to its optimum capacity, airborne pathogens that are captured will stay within the layers of filters and deactivated by their nature in a few hours.
To date, no air purifier can currently claim to capture and eliminate COVID-19 as more scientific research about coronavirus is yet to be taken.
However, as air purifiers are capable of filtering other viruses with a size similar to coronavirus, they can be considered as a highly effective solution to help improve indoor air quality by significantly reducing the number of harmful airborne pathogens.
Find out more about air purification solutions by Calmic here