The beginning of 2020 has seen the spread of the novel coronavirus, and as many businesses had to keep themselves at home to prevent exposure, one invisible threat arised: poor indoor air quality.
With the crisis bringing clean air stakes into sharp relief, the slow-down has provided a fleeting glimpse of a clean air future for businesses, homes, and ecosystems.
But pandemic or no pandemic, improving the quality of the air we breathe and the cleanliness of the surfaces we touch have a profound effect on our health and wellbeing. Now as we continue to envision what the “new normal” is like, it is imperative to consider the impact that indoor air quality (IAQ) has on one’s health.
Why is Air Quality Important?
Indoor air quality is vital to our everyday lives and breathing quality indoor air is critical for good health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) most Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors; either in the home, office or other types of buildings where gases, chemicals and other pollutants can cause headaches, eye irritation, allergies and fatigue. But did you know that air pollution can cause cellular damage and inflammation throughout the body and has been linked to higher rates of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, asthma and other comorbidities? All of these conditions have seen an increase in the risk of death in COVID-19 patients. Recognizing its importance especially during this crucial time is forcing a massive change in how we think about infection prevention and air quality in businesses.
“Paying close attention to disinfecting the air that travels through air handling units is a means of continually protecting the people visiting and engaging in your business every day.”
Why Should Businesses Care about Air Quality?
Now that we know some quality information on the importance of air quality, let’s discuss how it relates to the coronavirus outbreak and businesses.
Air pollution and poor indoor air quality have been linked to higher rates of illness and long before COVID-19 arrived at our very doorsteps. But as restrictions loosen and thousands of business operations are able to legally open their doors, many people are still hesitant to step out of their comfort zone. Therefore, it’s critical for businesses to do everything possible to put customers and employees at ease. That means they must embrace extra safeguards, including those that improve indoor air quality. Paying close attention to disinfecting the air that travels through air handling units is a means of continually protecting the people visiting and engaging in your business every day, and that investment can pay off in the long run with a team of experts like us who are not only committed to clean but committed to a safe place.
How Coronavirus Spreads through the Air
The virus that causes COVID-19 can persist in aerosol form, some studies have suggested. But a crucial question firmly remains: Can the pathogen behind COVID-19 be “airborne”? With the CDC officially recognizing that COVID and other pathogens can be transferred through air transmission and not just close contact scenarios, it is significant to keep indoor places properly ventilated to avoid the spread. Whether carried aloft by large droplets that zoom through the air, or by much smaller exhaled droplets that may glide in a room, we need to think about controlling the source of the virus indoors, about mixing more outdoor air with indoor air, and about air filtration and cleaning devices.
What Are Some Ways to Maintain Good Air Quality?
Since we know that coronavirus, as well as other pathogens, are airborne and that clean air quality is a vital component of a healthy living environment, how can we achieve healthy indoor air quality? Our team has put together some practical tips below.
- Disinfect the air by investing in portable air disinfectors that are intended to remove SARS-CoV-2, as well as other dangerous pathogens.
- When used properly, air disinfectors can help reduce airborne contaminants in buildings, offices, homes and confined spaces.
- Have your indoor air quality tested and monitored to measure the PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations in the air.
- Regularly change your HVAC air filters.
- Consider additional air disinfection measures with White Coat Air Disinfectors 6-Stages of Disinfection — now taking orders for November service. (details below)
- Ventilate by opening your windows, when possible.
- Use cleaning products that are free from volatile organic compounds, which can pollute indoor air.
Indoor air quality continues to be a critical public health issue that needs to be addressed. Not only was it critical to determine what type of pollutants are driving health impacts, but also to learn what level of these pollutants our bodies can tolerate. Whether outdoors or indoors, the effects of air pollution are most obvious for those who already have difficulty breathing.
Our team continuously monitors COVID regulations and provides hospital grade surface disinfection for medical, commercial, residential properties, and vehicles. If you have any questions about our Surface or Air Disinfection Services and how we can help in keeping your space clean and safe, be sure to contact our dedicated team today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.
White Coat Air Disinfectors have 6-Stages:
- Pre-Filter, effectively blocks large particles (e.g., hair, lint)
- HEPA, which filters 99.9% of PM10 (e.g., mold, dust mites, pollen, some large bacteria) and PM2.5 (e.g. small bacteria, viruses like Coronavirus)
- Activated Carbon Filter for absorption of volatile organic compounds
- Photocatalyst Filter that combines with UV Light, which degrades formaldehyde and other pollutants, gases, VOCs
- UV Light to effectively kill common bacteria and viruses that passed the HEPA Filter
- Anion Generator