As I said in my last blog Covid-19 is not going anywhere and with new strains keeping appearing we still need to be on our guard. As we start to get back to normal and a huge amount of people have had at least their first vaccine, now maybe more than ever, would be a very good time to be wary! Not only in socialising where strict rules are still in place but returning to the office. I am sure you will agree, a company’s most important asset is its people! The one thing that Covid has brought to light is the importance of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), the benefits it brings to people and companies that have invested in technology to improve IAQ. This needs to improve quickly, as one thing to note is, it is not just Covid that is highly dangerous and spread via aerosols in the air. The World Health organisation have estimated that 1.8 Billion people are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is the bacteria that causes TB. In 2020, 10 million people fell ill with TB, out of those infections 1.4 million people died. Surprised? I am, I thought that TB had disappeared many years ago, although it is decreasing every year. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have a health target in place to end the epidemic by 2030. TB is just one of many different Bacteria’s and Viruses that are commonplace and easily spread such as Pneumonia, Legionella, Flu, MRSA, Avian Flu, Measles, Chicken Pox, Strep, E. Coli, Black Mould and C. Diff. Guess what the one thing they all have in common? They will all be destroyed if they come up against UV-C! The use of UV-C has been around for many years with a lot of papers in recent times written around the proper use of UV-C to inactivate pathogens that are quickly spread around indoors. To my knowledge there appears to be four different types of UV-C installations that will keep the office safe and healthy (happily corrected if I have missed any out). Upper Room Ultra-Violet Germicidal Irradiation, In Duct Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, installation within current lighting and installed on a robot, all four can inactivate pathogens in seconds. The robot can be programmed to drive around the office building whilst safely emitting more than enough UV-C to destroy pathogens on surfaces and within the air locally. Upper Room UVGI can be used for destroying pathogens that rise to the upper room and is also safe to use whilst people are in the office. Lighting can be installed where you change out the existing light fittings for versions that include UV-C which can come on automatically once the building is empty. Finally, within HVAC systems, where the UV-C is installed next to the cooling coils in both Air Handling Units (AHUs) and Fan Coil Units (FCUs). All these options will make the office a safer place to sit and work and show employees that their employer is taking their health and wellbeing seriously. It is not a one-way street as the employer will benefit from improving IAQ. How much does it cost each time some one phones in sick? What about those drop offs in the afternoon when staff are feeling tired and are not as focused or the productivity drops off? I am confident that one of the largest outgoings for a business would be the running costs for their HVAC system. Would you like to reduce your HVAC running costs by 20 – 30%? Please beware of cheap UV-C products that can be purchased online and speak to the professionals, as installation needs to be done correctly. IAQ is getting a lot more interest in the last year for obvious reasons. In the US it has been taken seriously with inclusion by ASHRAE and the UK followed suit soon after when CIBSE released their latest Covid-19 Ventilation guidance notes back in October 2020. Version 4 of these notes include a whole section to UV-C Germicidal Irradiation for both In Duct and Upper Room. It goes on to state “Early studies indicate that SARS-CoV-2 is relatively easily inactivated by UV-C light and when aerosolised the virus is likely to show a similar susceptibility to UV as other coronaviruses in air”. The US now has a building WELL ness certification which they are pushing hard, with reportedly $100 million spent on stars such as J-Lo, Robert DeNiro, and Lady Gaga in videos produced by Spike Lee and shown during the Super Bowl. Now that is what I call “taking it seriously”. Please contact Bryair Mechanical () for further information and see how we can help improve your IAQ.
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