COVID-19: Reducing risk through Ventilation and Air Quality

17 Jul

COVID-19: Reducing risk through Ventilation and Air Quality

COVID 19 Ventilation Blog

Photo Credit: Pixabay

There is mounting research to suggest that clean air plays a vital role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Perhaps, not a new way of thinking. Florence Nightingale, who is considered the first Nursing Theorist, presented the Environmental Theory1 over 150 years ago.

Florence Nightingales Theory

Photo Credit: ISG

A number of aspects covered by this theory are transferrable to the office environment. In this article we will focus on air quality and ventilation, and more specifically its significance in reducing risk throughout the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Now we are coming out of lockdown and more businesses and staff return to work, what has become apparent is that working environments with little or no ventilation have encountered clusters of new infections.

More extreme examples of the rise in cases are in more populated working environments and environments where there is either little or no ventilation, especially when the typical working temperatures are significantly lower than offices. Even in the typical office environment where temperatures generally range between 18-23ºC, air quality, filtration, and purification are essential to reduce transmission.

This pandemic may be a once in a 100-year event but will be around for some time to come. Moving forward, in every workplace, consideration should be given to improved ventilation and air quality, including filtration.

The number of air changes could be considered as a method of cleaning the air utilising HEPA filters and air scrubbers. Alternatively, there is an option of installing non-thermal plasma technology which is the technology that has been around for some time in medical and food settings.

Using this technology, the air is ionised to increase the positive and negative ions in the atmosphere protecting against airborne microbial contaminations in any area; this can be fitted within the existing ventilation systems or as portable stand-alone units.

Partnering with ISG (www.isgfume.co.uk) the Air Filtration/Purification and Decontamination specialists, we are showcasing the latest portable solutions available to provide air quality/purification. Their units are high capacity and specifically designed for commercial applications - not to be confused with domestic type products.

The Viralair-HEPA™ is a robust, high capacity and efficacious solution for the purification of air within enclosed spaces. Particularly suited for use in large areas such as Factories, Corridors and Packing areas as well as an overnight air-purge for offices. It can be double stacked to offer capacity in excess of 4,200m3/hr all within a 700mm x 700mm footprint.

H14 HEPA filter offers the efficiency of 99.995% @ 0.3µm. HEPA H14 filters are used daily by thousands of companies operating in Medical, Research, Defence and other industries working with dangerous pathogens.

Air is drawn in one side, through the HEPA filter and expelled out the other side.

COVID 19 Ventilation Unit

Click here for more details

Features & Benefits:

Features

Benefits

Effective HEPA filtered air

Greater protection for people from work colleagues.
Lower risk of cross-contamination and spread of disease
Ideal for purifying the air in offices

Compact

Fits through all doorways
Takes up less space

Powerful Fan

A high amount of air "changes" resulting in a purified atmosphere

100% Stainless Steel Construction

Easy to clean
Hygienic

Smooth running castors

Easy to position/relocate

Side inlet/outlet

Linear airflow

Low power consumption

Minimises energy usage

Robust Construction

Can cope with knocks, bumps etc. Perfect for industrial applications

Technical Specification:

Size (mm) HxWxD

700 x 700 x 700

Capacity (m3/hr)

≥2100

Applicable room size per unit

210m³

Filter/Efficacy

H14 HEPA/99.995% @ 0.3µm (Air quality is ISO 5/Class 100).
D.O.P Certified

Sound Level (dB)

50-67

Working Environment

Temp. Range: -20°C ~ 50°C

Humidity: ≤85%

Atmos. Press: 40KPa ~ 200KPa

Power consumption

≤150W

Power Supply

AC 220-240V 50/60Hz. Hard wired 5M lead with UK 3-pin plug

Weight

+/-52Kg

The Viralair-UV™ is a compact, cost-effective and efficacious solution for the sterilisation of air within enclosed spaces. Particularly suited for use in offices due to its compact size, quiet operation yet high capacity.

This unit is designed for positioning around and alongside staff both in open circulation/break-out areas and in individual offices and conference rooms as evacuation is unnecessary. This means no down-time, no post sterilisation cleaning and offers in-situ Air sterilisation.

Air is drawn in via side inlets and exposed to powerful UV-C radiation for effective sterilisation before the internal fan expels the sterilised air back into the room via the front outlet.

Using UV-C for the killing of bacteria and viruses is not a new idea, but this is possibly the first time it has been made available for air sterilisation in such a compact, mobile unit.

Viralair UV Air Steriliser

Click here for more details

Features & Benefits:

Features

Benefits

Effective UV-C sterilisation

Greater protection for staff using proven technology
Improved morale through a lower risk of cross-contamination and spread of disease
Instant in-situ air sterilisation

Compact

Fits through all doorways
No wasted space

Quiet Operation

No negative impact on the normal office atmosphere
Staff comfort

High Capacity

A high amount of air "changes" resulting in a sterilised atmosphere

Smooth running castors

Easy to position/relocate

Side inlet/front outlet allows positioning against walls and in corners

Maximum flexibility for all areas and applications

Low power consumption

Minimises energy usage

Cost-Effective

No ongoing service costs or staff required to operate

Technical Specification:

Size (mm) HxWxD

830 x 425 x 300

Capacity (m3/hr)

≥800

Applicable room size per unit

80m³

O3 concentration in the air during dynamic sterilisation

≤0.1mg/m3

Sound Level (dB)

≤50

Working Environment

Temp. Range: -10°C ~ 40°C

Humidity: ≤80%

Atmos. Press: 60KPa ~ 106KPa

Power consumption

≤250W

Power Supply

AC 220-240V 50/60Hz. 3-metre cable

UV Light Life

≥ 5000 hours (≥208 days 24/7)

Weight

+/-25Kg

EN Certification

EN ISO 12100:2010; EN 60204-1:2010

In summary, there are solutions available to provide air filtration and purification, providing clean air in all settings.

At Bulb, we provide a comprehensive appraisal of your workplace requirements intending to maximise business performance. Whilst amid the current pandemic, the safety and well-being of employees have become even more paramount. A reduction in the risk of airborne transmission using improvements in ventilation & air quality could encourage a more rapid return to work and prove a valuable business investment. Moving forward post COVID-19 air quality is key in employee well-being and benefits their health, removing other pathogens.

Bulb’s Head of Science & Technology has written a series of articles on the coronavirus handling in laboratories, Coronavirus Handling & Biosafety levels, Coronavirus Handling & Biosafety Cabinets and Designing a Diagnostic laboratory for your reference, should they be applicable to your needs.

If you would like to know more or have any specific requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us at or

References:

1. https://nurseslabs.com/florence-nightingales-environmental-theory/

Andy Hambridge
Technical Services Manager
Bulb Interiors & Laboratories

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