Can a domestic air purifier protect Oregonians from coronavirus and wildfire smoke? Weighs in on a specialist


In early September, with many people in Orissa spending a week indoors, in the forest as a dangerous level of burning, the air purifier became a hot item and sold in stores.

But now that a lot of smoke has cleared and air purifiers are becoming more available, should you still consider shopping for your home?

Richard L. Corsi thinks you need. Wilderness smoke is not the only type of particle that people need to be aware of indoors, said Corsi, a professor at Portland State University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science and an expert on indoor air quality and climate.

“These particles include pollen and mold spores that cause allergies in many people,” Corsi said.

“Particles associated with transport are particularly harmful,” he said, “and now there is a mountain of studies showing that people who live within 100 meters of major highways or other roadways have a wide range of adverse consequences.” The risk of the chain is greatly increased – the result of birth, stroke, etc. – because pollutants, including particles, which are emitted by vehicle exhaust. “

Corsi said that cooking can also cause harmful particles

“It is very important to use a good exhaust hood when cooking,” he said. “But not all exhaust hoods are created equal and some particles escape from the local exhaust.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollution can cause a variety of short and long-term health effects ranging from headaches and respiratory conditions.

And, Corsi said, there is a new threat of coronavirus. The right type of air filtration can also prevent that.

Corsi and EPA are clear that no air cleaner will remove all pollutants from the air, but a good air purifier can reduce indoor pollution to a great extent.

So, how do you choose the right air purifier?

“For portable air cleaners,” Corsi said, “look for a HEPA-based system with a clean air delivery rate – CADR – suitable for the location in which it is used.”

Corcy said that for a large bedroom, small apartment, and most K-12 classrooms, an air purifier that has a CADR of 300 standard cubic feet per minute is “substantially, but not entirely, a form of virus from wildfire smoke. Reduce micro-particles well. Particles that carry the Salon-Cove-2 virus cause COVID-19. “

To remove volatile organic compounds, the EPA seeks an air cleaner with an activated carbon filter or other absorbent filters designed to remove gas.

Another thing to consider when choosing an air purifier is ozone emission.

“I would avoid any unit that emits ozone,” Corsi said. “Good HEPA-based portable air cleaners are required in properly sized spaces.”

A variety of systems can emit ozone, Corsi said, including ion generators and plasma systems. HEPA filters do a better job of cleaning the air, he said, even though the smell and quiet of an ion-generating system may look attractive.

There are also health implications to consider.

“There is more than six decades of epidemiological and toxicology research that clearly demonstrates the harmful effects of ozone on the human respiratory system,” he said, “even starting at significantly lower levels with incremental growth . “

So, what air purifier should you get? Corsi declined to recommend the product.

“I just bought 15 very good HEPA-based air purifiers with clean air delivery rates of 300 cfm to oversee college at Portland State University,” he said. “No artificial ad. Just a very good HEPA-based system with a high clean air delivery rate. “

And don’t forget about the filters in your HVAC system. Corsi advises looking for a filter with a minimum efficiency reporting value or a MERV of 13 or higher for your HVAC system to help clean your indoor air circulating through your home.

– Lizzie Acker

503-221-8052, [email protected], @lizzzyacker

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