A team of scientists with expertise in engineering, chemistry, and other related fields has just published a report with an overview of approaches for measuring ventilation in schools and universities across the United States. They also include case studies of room-by-room measurements taken and actions that resulted from the insight.
Original source: ChemRxiv
McNeill VF, Corsi R, Huffman JA, Maeng DY, King C, Klein R, et al. Room-Level Ventilation in Schools and Universities. ChemRxiv. Cambridge: Cambridge Open Engage; 2021; This content is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed.
If you’re looking for a solid understanding of the important role of buildings’ air management systems, this is valuable reading.
We take particular interest in these sorts of studies here at Vaniman — partly because they are fascinating, but mostly because they are useful.
What’s in this report? For starters, some very important perspective:
Ventilation is of primary concern for maintaining healthy indoor air quality and reducing the spread of airborne infectious disease, including COVID-19…Many humans spend the majority of their time indoors, particularly at home, work, or school (Klepeis et al. 2001). Adequate ventilation with air free of harmful air pollutants is essential to maintaining a healthy indoor environment.Abstract/Introduction
We’ve been talking a great deal this year with customers and partners about a layered approach to improving indoor air quality. Every now and again a report like this helps us reinforce why it’s important: mitigating the spread of COVID-19 (and other benefits of improving indoor air quality).
The report also includes an important reminder:
In situ monitoring of aerosols may lead to confusion in the COVID-19 context since respiratory particles are greatly outnumbered by ‘background’ PM indoors, as well other particles generated by human activities such as resuspended floor dust, skin flakes and clothing fibers. Therefore, number-based monitoring would not allow detection of a respiratory aerosol signature.Methodology
It’s a descriptive qualifier in the methodology described in the report, but it’s also a good reminder that the air we breathe has so, so much stuff in it. We’re constantly breathing in a mixture of microscopic potpourri of varying degrees of toxicity.
Important takeaways in the conclusion:
Ventilation and filtration are key components of a layered approach towards risk reduction for the transmission of airborne infections diseases…Ventilation data can also be useful for communicating and building trust with faculty, staff, students, and the rest of the community. Knowing that ventilation is satisfactory, problem areas have been identified, and mitigation measures have been put into place can ease anxieties and build confidence about return to campus or increased occupancy, and improve confidence in the future indoor air quality.Conclusion
This is all to say that clean air is vitally important, and ventilation and filtration are key. The knowledge that rooms at our everyday institutions have clean air helps us all move forward with confidence and good health.
Vaniman Manufacturing Co. makes the Pure Breeze HEPA Air Purifier, a commercial grade unit designed to help keep indoor air clean at a microscopic level. Click the link below to discuss portable in-room HEPA air cleaners with one of our specialists: