We’ve heard a lot about droplets, airborne particles, and the spread of viruses over the past couple of years thanks to the Covid19 pandemic, and as the world begins to resume normality and head back to offices, many of us will probably want to err on the side of caution to reduce risk.
Depending on your office environment, you may have limited opportunity to completely control what’s happening with ventilation, but there could still be some simple things to try.
Perhaps the simplest way to improve indoor air quality is to increase the amount of fresh outdoor air that circulates in the office. So, if you have the opportunity to open windows, do it. Also leaving doors open, internal and external can help clean air circulate. This includes hallways, corridors, and meeting rooms. Fresh air dilutes the number of potentially dangerous particles suspended in the air.1-3
There’s a great range of online guides to help improve ventilation that can be downloaded here.
If your office is in a large commercial building, hopefully the pandemic has helped elevate the importance of effective air conditioning, but you can also ‘take things into your own hands’ in your immediate surroundings.
In addition to the fresh outside air supply discussed above, it is possible to increase the clean air delivery rate (CADR) in a room or small space, thereby reducing the concentration of viral particles in the air by capturing them in a filter system.3
Portable air purifiers/filters can be a great way to improve office (or home) ventilation. Good quality air purifiers/filters are known as HEPA filters. HEPA is an acronym for High Efficiency Particulate Air, and they are capable of trapping dust, smoke, mould and other particles down to a tiny 0.3 microns in size. To put that into perspective, a human hair is about 75 microns across, and anything below 40 microns is not visible to the naked eye.4-6
According to the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), air cleaning or filtration by itself is not enough to protect people from COVID-19, but used along with other best practices can be part of a plan to reduce the potential for airborne transmission of COVID-19 indoors.7
In fact, the EPA has the following advice:
“Portable air cleaners (also known as air purifiers) may be particularly helpful when additional ventilation with outdoor air is not possible without compromising indoor comfort (temperature or humidity), or when outdoor air pollution is high.”7
So maybe a HEPA desktop air purifier such as the Welcare Pure Air Desktop version here might ease your anxiety and help improve the office ventilation in your immediate space. Or if you’d like to help purify a larger area, and add some extra capabilities like UV and photocatalyst filtration that can remove toxic chemicals and kill a variety of common bacteria and germs respectively,8,9 check out the Welcare PureAir Household Air Purifier here.