Covid-19 has made us all much more aware of virus infection. But its airborne transmission is still commonly underestimated. Scientists have learnt a lot about SARS-CoV-2 (the virus causing Covid-19) over the last year and are keen to raise awareness of the highest risk factor – contaminated air. With a heightened focus on the effectiveness of air filters, this article reviews the protection they can offer against viruses, such as Covid-19.
A scientific brief released by the Centers for Disease Control earlier in April emphasised where the risks lie for contracting Covid-19. It reports that “a contaminated surface has less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of causing an infection.” However, the virus can remain suspended in the air for hours.
With non-essential retail now open, along with hairdressers, salons, gyms and libraries, and restaurants and bars to also follow next month, the increase in shared indoor spaces poses a risk. And the question on many businesses’ minds will be, ‘Will an air filter offer added protection?’
HEPA filters have been used in hospital and healthcare settings and in places where ultra-clean air is required for many years. Many airborne viruses caused concern long before we even knew what Covid-19 was, and the technology behind HEPA filters have kept people living and working in these environments safe.
Studies that have looked at the effectiveness of HEPA filters on Covid-19 confirm that if the system is run over a period of time, it can take out over 99% of the virus. Working to HTM-03 standards, Filtrex has supported many organisations in these sectors with the manufacture, supply and installation of these certified filters.
HVAC Systems and Air Filters
In other built environments, where HEPA filters are not a consideration, it has been shown that air cleaners, such as HVAC filters, can also offer protection.
Air filtration systems are used in various other settings, where clean air is needed; for example, ensuring safe food production, keeping intricate IT and digital systems free of contaminants, and taking care of employees working in industrial environments, where increased toxicity levels pose a threat to their health. In these kinds of indoor settings, air filters capture potentially harmful particles, including viruses, such as Covid-19, and help keep the air clean. Filtrex has in-depth experience across a wide range of industry sectors, and can advise you on which air filtration system is most suitable for your indoor environment.
The Importance of Maintaining COVID-Safe Behaviours
It is important to note that air filtration systems are not a complete solution. They add an extra layer of protection. Extended and close contact with someone with an infection without suitable PPE protection would still put you at risk. However, alongside the government guidelines of social distancing and wearing a mask, using an air filter that keeps the air you breathe indoors cleaner, will help keep you safe from airborne infection.