Indoor pollution and toxins are a major pollution-related concern. There is plenty of research that suggests that poor indoor air quality affects individual health. But this year, it is the highest selling home appliance especially during the coronavirus pandemic started earlier this year.
Using an air purifier is good for health in general. It removes all the pollutants from the air along with fumes and allergens. This year when people were mostly indoors, due to the coronavirus lockdown, the sales of air purifiers have increased drastically. However, the real question here is, whether air purifiers save from coronavirus or not?
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While air purifiers may not be helpful in a number of diseases their role in airborne diseases is quite helpful. For example, if there is a coronavirus patient around, using an air purifier in the house can save other family members from getting it. It also ensures maximum protection for people into self-isolation during this crucial time.
The information of coronavirus is still evolving and there is no definite knowledge of how it spreads. But most of the medical experts believe that it travels through the air-borne droplets that are released from an infected person’s sneeze or cough. Although it is highly likely for these droplets to fall on the nearby surfaces, some particles could remain in the air for a long period of time.
For this reason, the lockdown period was the time when people spent on buying a good quality air purifier, making the highest selling home appliance in the last few months. These sales were mostly by families of healthcare workers or people who are otherwise highly susceptible to the virus.
Normally, venting the room is not a viable option for everyone. So an air purifier with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is preferable to avoid all airborne particles.
Jeffrey Siegel is a faculty member at the University of Toronto and also an indoor air quality expert. He has professional knowledge of portable air purifiers and their efficacy on a number of airborne droplets and particles.
He says, considering the efficacy of these air purifiers on virus similar to coronavirus, it looks like air purifiers are a valuable thing. In 2003’s SARS outbreak, hospital authorities were using HEPA filters air purifiers to control the transmission of SARS.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorses the efficacy of HEPA air purifiers against SARS in hospitals. It suggests that these air purifiers may also provide protection from similar viruses as that of the novel coronavirus.
A research study published in the “Journal of Infectious Diseases” finds filtering the air to have a reduced transmission of influenza which is a virus-borne disease.
By removing the virus means that these air purifiers reduce their concentrations in that particular area or household. This way people breathing in that air are under the lesser risk of viral exposure.
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HEPA air purifiers are exceptionally helpful in cleaning the air. They can capture up to 99.97% of these airborne particles of 0.3 microns size. The size of this new coronavirus is 0.125 microns but the droplet through which it travels in sneeze and cough is nearly 1 micron in size. The HEPA filters can easily extract and remove these particles that contain coronavirus in them.
If there is a suspected coronavirus patient around, it is advised to run the air purifier all the day on its highest setting. It must be away from anything that could hinder its working such as curtains. When a person uses these air purifiers correctly, the risk of getting coronavirus and related viruses reduce significantly. All these reasons explain why air purifiers made it to the list of highest selling home appliances during the lockdown period.