Professional air cleaners lead to 90% less chance of indirect Covid-19 infections
New test by Euromate and University of Amsterdam on behalf of the House of Representatives
Using professional air cleaners can lead to a 90% smaller chance of indirect Covid-19 infections. This is the outcome of a test set-up, done by Euromate in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam on behalf of the House of Representatives. The research also shows that air cleaners also substantially reduce the particulate matter present. In addition, the devices ensure lower energy costs through an optimal distribution of the cleaned air.
The aim of the study was to test air cleaning to minimize indirect Covid-19 infections. Although it is known that 90% of infections are caused in this way, the risk of indirect infections by aerosols with virus particles in the Netherlands has been underestimated for a long time. In countries such as Germany, US, UK, Canada and Australia, the ‘aerogenic route’ has been officially recognised, and classrooms are equipped with air purifiers to prevent indirect virus transmission. In Belgium, too, there will be a large-scale ventilation plan for all public spaces, which includes air purification. There is also a study by the University Hospitals Leuven and Eindhoven University of Technology on the effect of air purification on schools.
The tests were carried out in a space of approximately 400 m3, where Prof. dr. Daniel Bonn of the University of Amsterdam provided the sensors, measurements and analyses. Annelies de Jong, spokesperson for Euromate, talks about the research: “During four weeks, measurements were taken with both artificially produced aerosols and with twenty officials present who were at work. The test room was measured with only switched on ventilation according to the 2012 Building Decree and with both ventilation and air purification. Among other things, we looked at effective operation based on the correct flow rates, air circulation and the relationship with the air treatment present.”
90% smaller chance of indirect infections
The first research results are promising. “During the same residence time in a room that is equipped with ventilation in accordance with the current Building Decree, the addition of professional air purifiers ensures a 90% smaller chance of indirect contamination. Residues of Covid-19 virus particles were subsequently found on the filters of the air purifiers used,” says de Jong. “This confirms that the devices are functioning properly. The research also shows that air purifiers also substantially reduce the particulate matter present. In addition, the devices ensure lower energy costs through an optimal distribution of the cleaned air.”gy on the effect of air purification on schools.
Based on the positive test results, additional studies are being carried out on behalf of the House of Representatives. The results of this are also shared within the so-called MIST programme. Here, virologists, epidemiologists, fluid mechanics and engineers join forces to understand and prevent airborne virus transmission. This is in line with Minister Kuipers’ long-term strategy, in which sectors themselves must take action to reduce corona infections.