As we migrate back indoors this fall, the issue of indoor air quality is on the minds of many. Two and a half years in and COVID exposures are still a cause for concern.
However, we have learned much over the course of the pandemic, including what works to help prevent exposures. Research continues to provide answers. Given COVID-contaminated indoor air is the primary route of infection, evidence of effective strategies to dilute and filter
the build up of COVID particles in indoor spaces are featured prominently in the literature. And the good news is when we look for answers to COVID exposures, we often find answers to other hazardous contaminants in the air we breathe.
Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) Indoor Air program
offers training to help workers, supervisors and workplace representatives proactively look for these answers, training them to recognize, assess and make recommendations to control or better yet eliminate indoor pollution sources
Our program, delivered virtually, covers the virus that causes COVID, as well as hazards such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ozone, formaldehyde, pesticides and legionella. Relevant legislation and measures to combat these hazards now notably also include those needed to mitigate against the transmission of COVID-19 too.
Key Research Findings
The most recent review of the literature confirms several important insights, including:
- Portable air purifying devices located close to breathing zones will reduce the number of aerosols.
- Fixed in-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation air cleaners can effectively decontaminate indoor air of human pathogens. However, among other concerns their use may pose problems for photosensitive people.
- Confined spaces such as buses can be adequately ventilated to reduce COVID transmission simply by operating the window defroster, opening ceiling hatches, lowering the driver’s window and every other window.
- Carbon dioxide tracer testing is reasonably easy to implement, and results of its use demonstrate among other things that even the most experienced engineers cannot necessarily predict the quality of air without measuring.
Links to all these studies can be found at the close of this e-bulletin.
to boost your workplace health and safety efforts. As Ontario’s only government designated training centre, WHSC offers a comprehensive three-hour Indoor Air — Virtual training program.
||In our online, virtual classroom
||Nov 8, 1PM - 4PM
Nov 30, 9AM - 12PM
Need more information?
- Use of portable air purifiers as local exhaust ventilation during COVID-19
- Evaluation of multiple fixed in-room air cleaners with ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, in high-occupancy areas of selected commercial indoor environments
- Field study of early implementation of UV sources and their relative effectiveness for public health and safety
- Investigating dilution ventilation control strategies in a modern U.S. school bus in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Assessment of university classroom ventilation during the COVID-19 pandemic
Additional training: Check out all WHSC programs
Contact a WHSC training services representative in your area.
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