Up to 93% reduction in the viral load concentration of Sars-COV2 in the atmosphere can be achieved with the use of special disinfection devices, according to a study by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, conducted in the framework of a European Urban Health Program, for indoor air disinfection.
The study, which began in May 2020 and was recently completed, was carried out under the auspices of Professor Demosthenes Sarigiannis of Environmental and Health Engineering, who in an interview with the FM Agency, said that the interim results of the study were already highlighted at the Committee of Experts of the Ministry of Health, "while a technical report with the final results is currently being prepared, in order to be sent to the Commission, and to the National Public Health Organization and to the Prime Minister's Office".
The study was performed in Athens and Thessaloniki. It was initiated in labs, but continued on the field, in clinics, pharmacies, homes and in places where a high proportion of aerosols are usually produced, ie small particles in suspension.
"By using air disinfecting machines, with HEPA filters of high efficiency, we can have a reduction in pathogenic load ranging between 54-83%, while devices carrying active UV disinfection irradiation, achieve even higher cleaning rates, up to 93% under very good conditions. "
We have seen, says Mr. Sarigiannis, that these devices work very well even under particularly difficult conditions, such as at dentists, where the drilling process creates a very large production of organic aerosols. Asked whether these devices were used elsewhere in Europe, he replies that they are widely available in Germany, France, Italy, pointing out that in Italy in many public places their use is mandatory.
More than 80-90% of our time is spent indoors
Over 80-90% of our time is spent indoors, so the air quality we breathe there, according to Professor Sarigiannis, is very important for the quality of our health in the long run.
"This concerns not only infectious matters such as viruses, Covid-19 or influenza, but also bacteria, molds and microorganisms developed in indoor spaces."
[…]Mr. Sarariannis reports that some of these particles, have been measured hovering even 3 hours after their release.
[…] "It is an important step forward, as these devices are available in the Greek market, from many companies, so we could quickly supply buses, metro, tram, which could facilitate this winter. "
As regards the question of which other places could be good candidates to use these devices to reduce the viral load of Covid-19, the professor responds that he would like to see such devices in universities, classrooms, schools, (especially those which do not have good ventilation systems, or operate for a long time under poor weather conditions), places of health interest, restaurants, clubs, or in cinemas, and theatres.