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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus that has caused a global pandemic. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, “the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks” (CDC, 2020)
Because viruses like COVID-19 are mainly spread in humans through droplets that are exhaled and inhaled while breathing, many have mandated safety measures proven to reduce transmission—like wearing masks in public spaces, limiting the size of social gatherings, and implementing safe social distancing. However, viral particulates are very small, measured in microns, cannot be seen, and are difficult to track.
One measure that many people are using in their homes and businesses, is installing air purification systems. Air cleaning systems filter contaminants from the air that we breathe, so that we can reduce the number of particles potentially carrying viruses in an environment.
It's fairly simple. Compare the number of particles in the air, both with and without using your filtration system. Dust aerosols monitors can validate environmental filtration and air purification systems and ensure they are working properly. Equipment like TSI's DustTrak® or the P-Trak® can measure the dust and particulates in the air, ensuring the integrity of your system and giving you peace of mind.
Kevin Chase, Global Product Marketing Manager at TSI, explains, “Monitoring aerosol and particulates for indoor air quality analysis has been an important measure for a long time and is even more so now. These particles are way too small to see, so knowing your filtration systems is being as effective as possible to reduce your risk is crucial."
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “air cleaners, and HVAC filters can help reduce airborne contaminants including viruses in a building or small space” (EPA, 2020). Alone, they are not effective in completely preventing transmission, but when paired with other safe practices like mask wearing and social distancing, they can help protect people indoors.
While dust and particle monitors cannot identify the types of particles that are in the air, using dust and particle monitors and counters can help you determine the concentration of particles—potentially carrying a virus—you are being exposed to.
So, if you are worried and would like to take extra precautions in protecting yourself, your loved ones, and potentially customers or employees, frequently monitoring dust and particle concentrations in the air you breathe will give you insight into the effectiveness of your air filtration systems and how protected you are by your safety measures.