17 April 2020

We inhale over 3,500 gallons of air each day. The air surrounding us is filling our lungs contains billions of particles too small to be seen, but powerful enough to impact our health.

The air we breathe at home, work and school may contain a variety of contaminants in the form of gases and particles emitted by office machines, cleaning products, construction activities, carpets and furnishings, perfumes, cigarette smoke, water-damaged building materials, microbial growth (fungal, mold, and bacterial), insects, and outdoor pollutants. 

An extensive body of scientific evidence demonstrates that short and long-term
exposure to fine particle pollution has harmful effects on the cardiovascular system, respiratory system and may even cause premature death. 

PM (Particulate Matter) in the air is a mixture of solids and liquid droplets. The world’s leading health-related organizations consider PM10, PM2.5 and PM1 fine dust tractions as the most important and dangerous for humans. The smaller in size, the more dangerous it is. 

Picture 1: PM count picture

Corona virus and PM count

Researchers at Harvard University conducted an analysis and found that higher levels of the tiny, dangerous particles in the air known as PM 2.5 were associated with higher death rates from the disease. People in areas with high levels of pollution are 15 percent more likely to die from the coronavirus.
.For this study, health data has been provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) & state government at the county level and pollution data has been created by fusing PM2.5 measures from ground-based monitors, GEOS-Chem chemical transport models (CTM) & satellite observations. 

This study provides evidence that counties that have more polluted air will experience higher risks of death for Covid-19.

Picture 2: Air pollution and Covid-19 deaths map

In 2003, it was found that SARS patients in the most polluted parts of China were twice as likely to die from the disease as those in places with low air pollution.
It is worrisome what the coronavirus outbreak would mean for countries with far worse pollution.

Patients who already have respiratory issues and illness will be at higher risk and will not have enough immunity to fight COVID-19 impact further.

Let us know the most common source of fine particulate matter. It majorly comes from fuel combustion like automobiles, refineries and power plants and tobacco smoke. Breathing-in such microscopic pollutants inflames and damages the lining of the lungs over time, weakening the body’s ability to fend off respiratory infections. 

Will HEPA filter serve the purpose?
As global climate change rapidly, air filtration solutions are challenged daily. 
It is recommended to upgrade the current secondary ¬filter which will be usually a bag -filter or pocket ¬filter to HEPA ¬filter. e.g. if there is a M5/F7 pocket fi¬lter in AHU as the last stage it should be replaced with HEPA till the time there is a threat. The challenge remains if the arrested virus gets a breeding ground on the HEPA media surface which can be taken care by practicing fumigation of the whole air circuit periodically. For critical areas, fumigation might be required every day.

AAF manufacture filters in ISO 8 cleanroom and it has India’s first auto-scan test machine.