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Public Health clarifies the efficiency of the use of portable air purification devices in educational centers (12/11/2020)

The Ministry of Health of the Region of Murcia has issued a report on air purification and air conditioning systems.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, numerous organizational and preventive measures have been adopted within our educational environment in order to minimize the risk of contagion by SARS-CoV-2 in schools and to make classrooms as safe as possible.Current scientific studies show that the concentration of virus in an enclosed space is increased by the exhalation of people inside when breathing, talking, sneezing or coughing.

For this reason, it is essential to ventilate closed spaces such as classrooms, renewing the indoor air and replacing it with virus-free outdoor air.The guide for the beginning of the 2020-2021 academic year indicates that frequent ventilation tasks must be carried out in the facilities, and for a space of at least five minutes (better 10 minutes if the room was occupied beforehand) at the beginning of the day, at the end and between classes, whenever possible and with the necessary prevention measures:- Whenever the weather and building conditions allow it, the windows will be kept open as long as possible.- The indoor air recirculation function of air conditioning systems will not be used and efforts will be made to increase the supply of fresh air. With the arrival of the winter season, portable air purification equipment with very varied characteristics and diverse purposes is proliferating on the market.

In order to be able to analyze the efficiency and convenience of the installation of some of these devices in the educational field, the General Sub-directorate of Environmental and Food Health has proceeded to issue 'Report on the use of portable air purification devices in educational centers '.The document shows that, even meeting the necessary conditions, these devices alone cannot guarantee adequate air quality, concluding that portable devices with HEPA filters are a complementary measure that can be useful depending on the existing ventilation.

Likewise, it indicates that, even when purification equipment is installed, the indicated classroom ventilation recommendations will be followed, keeping the windows open for as long as possible and following the measures of distance and use of a mask, its effect being much more relevant than the that could produce the use of these equipments.It recommends avoiding, in any case, the feeling of false security that the presence of this equipment may produce and the possible relaxation of compliance with the indicated measures.

Source: Ayuntamiento de Alhama de Murcia

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