Riverdale, NJ — Unlike many risk factors to our health, circumstances often force us to enter areas where we have little choice about the air we breathe. The worldwide spread of COVID-19, a disease caused by the virus Sars-CoV-2 and communicated through respiratory droplets, has brought this fact to attention.
The coronavirus is by no means the only respiratory threat to human health. Recent research shows that 800 million viruses per square meter fall on the lowest layer of the atmosphere every day. Unlike bacteria, viruses are not washed away by rain, so the risk of infection from these viruses is always present. Pathogens aside, common household pollutants such as dust mites, smoke, formaldehyde, and pollen can diminish lung and heart health. Add to this the particulate matter and harmful volatile organic compounds from industrial processes and transportation, and we have a recipe for poor respiratory health and premature death.
How do we protect ourselves from these infections and risk factors?
Most of us don’t have the resources to make an effective air cleaner, but some companies have the knowledge and products to reduce instances of infectious and dangerous particulates in the air. Camfil USA, for example, has distributed HEPA filters and containment solutions to dozens of bio-safety laboratories worldwide, as of February 2020.
Decades of research over a wide range of healthcare applications have proven that HEPA filters are effective in controlling the spread of airborne particles and pathogens. HEPA filters capture, but do not actively kill, living organisms. Instead, bacteria, viruses, and fungi are held within the matrix of the filter, where they eventually dry out and die. Hospitals, infection control clinics, and other healthcare facilities frequently use HEPA filters to eliminate microbes.
High efficiency air filters (less than HEPA level filtration) can also be installed in HVAC systems to filter out biological pollutants and particulate matter in the air stream so that they don’t recirculate back into the room. Appropriate filters for these HVAC systems are rated MERV 15A or 16A per ASHRAE Standard 52.2 Appendix J. For further mitigation of airborne pathogens in higher risk areas, it is recommended to upgrade or install HEPA filtration (99.97% or higher) in the existing ventilation system if possible. High density areas with high-risk facilities such as labs, containment units, or quarantine zones may need additional mitigation strategies to lessen the risk of COVID-19 infections.
In order to educate and create awareness about the role of air filtration and containment of airborne infections in order to reduce the risk indoors, Camfil has created a series of education-based infographics that provide value-based insights in order to combat the virus in the air. Camfil’s clean air solutions blog help to reduce the potential spread of diseases through the air handling systems of bio-safety labs and hospitals.
About Camfil Clean Air Solutions
For more than half a century, Camfil has been helping people breathe cleaner air. As a leading manufacturer of premium clean air solutions, we provide commercial and industrial systems for air filtration and air pollution control that improve worker and equipment productivity, minimize energy use, and benefit human health and the environment.
Camfil USA Air Filters
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