As thousands of students head back to class this week, indoor air quality is a top concern. But for many schools, the new term is not going to plan.
Over the last few months, some schools have spent millions of dollars investing in air purifiers that could actually do more harm than good.
Air purifiers worth millions of dollars sit unused
According to a report from NBC Bay Area, thousands of air purifiers purchased by the Sacramento Unified School District are currently sitting in storage, amid concerns that the units will not effectively remove Covid-19 from the air.
Some air purifiers are ‘just bells and whistles’ expert claims
There are various technologies claiming to clean the air. But air quality expert Bud Offermann has major concerns.
Many air purifiers use UV light, a technology that has been used for years in hospital settings to clean equipment. Instruments are left in a cabinet overnight with a UV light switched on. But as Mr Offermann points out, placing a UV light in an air purifier, with air passing through at speed, is not the same thing.
‘….there’s just not enough time to inactivate the virus or bacteria or oxidize anything. It’s really just bells and whistles.”
The dangers of Ionizers
In recent months, a number of scientists came together to write an open letter to schools, asking them to beware of the electronic or ionizer air cleaners, currently being promoted as a solution for the removal of viral particles from the air. A number of independent studies show electronic air cleaning devices can produce dangerous levels of chemicals, either directly or as a by-product of chemical reactions.
Mr Offermann, also has concerns about this type of technology.
‘It is playing chemistry with the indoor air ……Because they are putting things in the air and reacting with chemicals in the air, they have the potential to create bad things such as formaldehyde, ozone, ultrafine particles.”
New study finds electronic air cleaners increase pollution levels
A study just published in Environmental Science and Technology Letters supports this theory. The team found that when running certain types of commercial ‘Oxidant-Generating Electronic Air Cleaners’, the number of oxygenated volatile organic compounds (OVOC’s) increased significantly.
This technology has the potential to create the pollutants it claims to remove. A risk that’s too big to take when it comes to air quality in our schools, or in fact, any public space.
The WHO recommends HEPA air purifiers
According to the WHO, standalone portable HEPA air purifiers should be used to improve air quality and reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission. The Medical Grade HEPA technology used in our air purifiers effectively removes up to 95% of bacteria and aerosolized viruses* larger than 0.1 microns. Furthermore, the unique carbon blend safely eliminates a wide range of gases, chemicals, VOC’s and formaldehyde.
Austin Air uses filter technology you can trust
Here at Austin Air, we have been manufacturing HEPA and carbon air purifiers for more than 30 years. In that time, our air purifiers have been used in a number of clinical trials. We have also been selected by the US Government, FEMA and the American Red Cross during some of America’s most challenging times, including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina; Hurricane Sandy and the 2015 SoCal gas leak in California.
And now, as children in the US and Canada head back to school, Austin Air Purifiers are running in thousands of classrooms, helping to keep teachers and students safe.
If you would like more info about our range of air purifiers, please visit our SHOP page today.
*Covid-19 is a new strain of virus that as yet, remains untested. However, the Medical Grade HEPA technology used in our filters is proven to remove up to 95% of all airborne contaminants as small as 0.1 microns.