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Air purifiers dramatically improve aerosol removal

University College Dublin conducted a study with Camfil that finds air purifiers dramtically increase in the removal of aerosols in poorly ventilated spaces

Working in conjunction with University College Dublin (UCD) and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital (MMUH), air filtration provider Camfil’s study found that air purifiers remove aerosols from poorly ventilated rooms at four times the normal rate.

Experiments conducted by leading UCD researcher and lecturer, Dr Kevin Nolan of the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, on the presence of aerosol in poorly ventilated spaces, used Camfil’s City M air purifiers to rapidly clean a room of aerosol.

For this experiment, a room at the MMUH in Dublin measuring 4m x 2.5m x 2.6m was filled with aerosol for 30 seconds, with the use of a smoke wand. The presence of aerosol was measured by observing the average image intensity of laser light scattered by the aerosol. These experiments found that when untreated, aerosol slowly dissipated over 500 seconds. When the City M air purifier was at its maximum speed, the aerosol was cleared in under 160 seconds. When a small heater was used to provide added natural convection flow, the untreated aerosol particles dissipated in an alarming 800 seconds, which was reduced to below 200 seconds with the use of Camfil City M.

These findings are thought to be significant because on 30 April, 2021 the World Health Organisation declared that COVID-19 is transmitted mostly through the inhalation of airborne aerosols within close range.

Air purifiers can reduce the spread of COVID-19, while also tackling more long-standing health problems.

Air pollution is the single greatest environmental health risk in Europe. The WHO estimates that 400,000 deaths in Europe and 1,080 in Ireland every year are attributable to poor air quality.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified air pollution - particularly PM2.5 – as a leading cause of cancer. High-Efficiency Particulate Air filtration (HEPA) technologies are capable of greatly reducing the circulation of airborne particulate matter by over 99 percent.

Paul Flanagan, managing director of Camfil Ireland said: “Since 1963 Camfil has been committed to educating the public about the importance of clean air, and to providing top quality solutions to protect people, processes and the environment. The past year and a half have made our mission and purpose more important than ever before, as the idea of clean air has become a top priority for people. While COVID-19 is likely to be a temporary disaster, air pollution has become a permanent fixture for people all over the world. While removing the harmful pollutants is not an easy task, protecting our environment is; we are determined to show people that installing HEPA filters into buildings can and will decrease the risk of inhaling harmful pollutants. This fantastic study by UCD is proof of the success of Camfil’s filters.'

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

5 July 2021

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