Role of air purification technology for reducing COVID-19 transmission

Aug 17, 2021 | CovidRelated

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, several conventional as well as non-conventional approaches have been used to disinfect the surfaces and even groceries. Lately, it was realized that the transmission of the COVID-19 virus through the air is more prevalent than surface transmission. The seriousness of the air transmission can be realized with the fact that the contaminated droplets not only spread around during the coughing but also while speaking or even just normal breathing. Now, instead of disinfecting the surfaces, the challenge is to purify the air around us, especially in an indoor environment. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has mentioned that air purifiers can help reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses, in a home or confined space [Read More].

Now, let’s try to understand how COVID or any SARS virus transmits through the air. These viruses are typically 60-140 nm wide [Read More] and swim in the air within tiny water droplets or biological material. Some of these tiny virus-loaded droplets can travel several meters from the source and can be suspended in the air for hours. The most effective way to eliminate these virus-loaded droplets from the air is the filtration technique. In fact, the Nobel Prize-winning chemist Irving Langmuir has found the effectiveness of air filters to guard against particle inhalation way back during World War II [Read More].

These filters are commonly known as the high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, where the particles carried with air are captured in the mesh of fibers by van der Waals or electrostatic forces or just merely due to physical adsorption. The effectiveness of HEPA filters for eliminating viral infections has been clinically proven [Read More] and in fact, the HEPA filtration technique has appeared as the best method for removing the virus from the air.  Besides the fibers, the incorporation of ultraviolet light in these filters boosts their effectiveness of removing viruses during the circulation of air through the device.

Recently researchers from Canada have demonstrated that ultraviolet light does kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus very effectively [Read More]. Their findings were further strengthened with the laboratory work from Boston University School of Medicine, where they found that the UV light can fully decontaminate the SARS-CoV-2 from the surfaces merely in a few seconds [Read More]. Furthermore, the researchers from Columbia University Irving Medical Center have demonstrated the high vulnerability of UV lights to the SARS-CoV-2 viruses floating in the air with tiny aerosol droplets [Read More].

To make the HEPA filter even more effective for killing viruses, UV-activated titanium dioxide-based technology has recently been incorporated into these devices. The UV-light induced highly oxidizing environment in such titanium dioxide-based photocatalytic systems damages the functionality of viruses and eventually kills them [Read More]]. EcoShield Tech has launched super-effective air purifiers in the market that comprises all these technologies.

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