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Are you sure you are breathing safe air?

Ever since the US Center for Disease Control stated that the coronavirus may exhibit airborne transmission beyond close contacts, indoor air quality has become the focal point in almost all corporate houses. The cleaning industry in turn has responded with a bevy of virus ‘killing’/’attenuating’ products, harnessing the power of UV rays and more. But, the question is — what is right and what is not?

With the second wave showing signs of subsiding and all types of facilities eager to reopen, indoor air management devices are being touted as the silver bullet for return to work and return to a new normal life. However, the lay person does not possess the background know

ledge to assess whether a particular device is suitable, or even effective as it claims to be.

During a conversation with Dilip Patil, a biomedical engineer and Founder & Managing Partner of Trivector Biomed LLP, Clean India Journal was able to draw out the do’s and don’t of selecting and purchasing an effective air purification device.

An ideal indoor air management & purification system, irrespective of the technology used, in principle is supposed to reduce all sort of airborne impurities without any discrimination towards any micro-organism. Investing in an air purifier that targets only one micro-organism without demonstrating others that can affect human health is not a wise choice.

It is important to know the ‘Kill log rate’ i.e. one decimal point (10-fold) reduction in the number of live microorganisms Colony Forming Units by using the device for a specified time. For example, assuming 10,000,000 microbes in air at a given time, a 1-log kill reduces the colony to 1,000,000 bacteria after a 90% reduction; a 2-log kill reduces the colony to 100,000 bacteria after a 99% reduction and so on.

One also needs to take ‘US-FDA approvals’ sported by new devices with a pinch of salt. US-FDA and EU approvals for any medical device take years. US-FDA has published guidelines by which certain air-purifiers can be qualified for sale for Covid purpose under their ‘Emergency Authorization Use’ policy. It does not imply that such devices are approved or certified medical devices by US-FDA or EU.

Similarly, CE markings, UL (Ozone testing), etc., are standard electro-mechanical tests to validate electrical safety and ozone emission of the devices. Almost all devices declare themselves CE compliant by self-certification, not external validation.

Read more on this topic in the forthcoming issue of Clean India Journal. Share more information on this subject with Clean India Journal. Write to editor@virtualinfo.in

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