The importance of ventilation and CO2 sensors to avoid COVID-19 infections.
The Multidisciplinary Working Group (GTM), which advises the Ministry of Science and Innovation and supports the Government in scientific matters related to COVID-19 and its future consequences, presentsa new report in which it identifies and describes the different existing autonomous equipment for cleaning the air and the sensors for the control of the transmission of SARS-COV-2 by aerosols. The GTM explains that, in order to minimize the risk of contagion, the amount of virus present in the air, or potentially present, must be reduced.
In this sense, the GTM details how it is possible to reduce the exhalation of aerosols:
- replacing indoor air with outdoor air, through natural or mechanical ventilation;
- filtering the air, through autonomous equipment, the so-called air cleaners;
- or through filters in the central air conditioning system.
As for other technologies that inactivate the virus, such as the dispersion of disinfectants in the air (ozone, hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorous acid or alcohol) : they are not recommended, since they produce the same chemical reactions with the virus as with our respiratory system, so these systems have proven or potential negative effects on human health and should be avoided due to the precautionary principle.”.
The GTM also stands out in the report the importance of following the recommended sanitary measures since neither ventilation nor the use of air cleaning technologies replace at any time the need to use masks and respect physical distance and hygiene standards in public spaces.
With these recommendations, the action of the order of priority in the air environment would be:
Finally, the GTM recommends the use of air sensors that allow knowing the amount of air exhaled by people in an interior space, which is directly related to the potential presence of viruses in the air. These are CO2 sensors with non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) technology. These sensors work correctly and quickly (1 minute) and are the best approximation currently available, so their use in public indoor environments, such as restaurants, bars, shops, malls, gyms, classrooms, etc. . It is highly recommended to ensure air quality for both employees and customers.
The report points out that it is very important to take into account that these sensors are very useful to control and ensure adequate ventilation rates.
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