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Clearing the Air

Clearing the Air with Tony Balmer

The last few weeks have been difficult for all. The unknown has left many of us feeling frightened or uneasy. Many of our friends and neighbors are being forced to close their businesses. Others are working from home because their daycare or school has closed. I am personally struggling, because I didn’t know it was this hard to be a teacher!

You may be wondering if there is anything you can do to “flatten the curve.” Air filtration is a commonly discussed method. Distributors are being asked to upgrade filter systems, while many manufacturers are being pressed to ship rush orders. However, information seems to be very conflicting. It is imperative that we understand how an air-filtration system works. The best way to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities is to be armed with real, evidence-based information.

An air filter works to reduce harmful particles in the air. Most filters can be effective at reducing any particles that are large enough to transmit disease. It is important to know that for a filter to have any impact on infectious disease transmission, the transmission must be airborne. The biggest risk is that most of the virus-containing particles never make it to the filter. When people encounter others, those particles have not yet been given enough distance to be pulled out of the air. Also, surfaces can become contaminated with the virus. Coronavirus can survive and multiply on an infected surface.

Ultimately, a clean, properly-sized filter can be a part of a risk mitigation approach, but handwashing and staying home during this uncertain time remain the most effective means of limiting the spread of the virus.

Disclaimer: Tony Balmer is a trusted filter professional. This blog is not meant to be used as technical industry or medical advice. It is written from his personal perspective