Air Purification for an Uncertain Future
Updated: Jun 2
This week, 10 months into the coronavirus pandemic, the official world wide infection count topped 30 million. The actual coronavirus statistics of course no one can say for sure, but experts estimate that the real number is much higher.
It is clear that we are not out of the woods yet. Estimates on when we will see the end of the pandemic vary. In late August of 2020, the head of WHO told the BBC that "we hope to finish this pandemic (in) less than two years". The New York Times reports that there are currently 9 vaccines in phase 3 trials, but as of yet no vaccines have been approved. Even if vaccines receive approval, it will take a considerable amount of time before we return to "life as normal".
With so much uncertainty, what can be done to protect oneself and family from becoming another Covid-19 statistic? Much has to do with the quality of the air we breath.
Unfortunately, there is still much left to be learned about the virus. There has been speculation that HVAC systems can spread the virus through aerosol transmission. One study after having found traces to the virus inside hospital HVAC systems states: "The infectious potential of this viral genetic material is currently unknown."
However, air transmission is a real concern. Another study found that the air conditioning unit in a restaurant blew contaminated particles from an infected individual through the air, infecting 5 other individuals.
Although personal hygiene and properly worn face masks are at the forefront of coronavirus control, some IAQ (indoor air quality) devices have proved helpful in the fight against coronavirus as well. Specifically, studies have shown (2 of such studies are highlighted later in this post.) that whole building in-duct air purification systems using bi-polar ionization and friendly oxidizers have impressive statistics when it comes to destroying viruses, bacteria and mold and reducing airborne particulates. How do these systems work?
These whole building in-duct air purification systems proactively disperse ionized particles or plasma by the HVAC system through the ducting system into every part of the building. These particles inactivate harmful microbes and bind VOCs and other contaminates that may tax one’s respiratory system. Once bound, the particles are heavy enough to fall to the floor to be swept out or pulled into the HVAC system’s return duct and trapped by the filter.
Other air purification methods, which use filters and uv lights alone, rely on the contaminated air to pass through the HVAC system for the air to be cleaned. However, whole building in-duct air purification systems proactively send out ionized particles into the air, which attack viruses, bacterias and other pollutants, keeping your home and environment clean and odor free.
Do these products really work? As previously mentioned, the test results are impressive. The Kansas State University did a simulation sneeze test using RGF's REME Halo air purification system and found that "an average of 99% reduction of microbes was achieved" in the time it took a sneeze to reach 3 feet. The REME Halo has not yet been tested against COVID-19 but since it was successful in eliminating 99% of SARS-CoV (another similar coronavirus), Dr. Marsden of Kansas State University stated: "This virus apparently is similar to other viruses that we previously tested. There is every reason to believe that RGF technologies would be effective in reduction of COVID-19.”
Another whole building in-duct air purification system using ionized technology made by Dust Free has tested against Covid and received promising results. Masks infected with the virus were placed in a room using the air and after 2 hours the virus was successfully removed from the masks, thus proving that the technology not only has the potential to clean the air, but other surfaces as well. It is notable that The Lancet journal published an article with findings that the virus can last up to 7 days on surgical masks.
What is the take away? While many of us feel helpless during our wait for a vaccine, there are tools available now that can help make our indoor environment safer and help you regain control. If you are interested in learning about these products or having one installed in your business or home, contact JD Air today!