The increasing use of air conditioning (AC) globally is directly causing conditions that are more conducive to the increased person-to-person transmission of airborne infections like tuberculosis (TB), influenza (flu), and measles. The impact of AC on airborne infection and indoor air quality is almost rapid, in contrast to the delayed environmental impacts of increased CO2 emissions. This is due to the fact that in order to use an air conditioner effectively, windows and doors must be shut, immediately eliminating the natural ventilation that a large portion of the world relies on to saturate and purify indoor air. Additionally, the most popular and effective AC types are split or ductless ones, which silently cool and dehumidify room air without supplying outdoor air exchange. In order to remove contaminants from the air in a room, air purification with UVC lamps becomes crucial.
Children in Mumbai are reportedly suffering from acute drug-sensitive TB. Data released by the BMC in 2022 revealed that paediatric TB cases have been going up every consecutive year; from accounting for 7% of the total cases in 2019 to 9% in 2021. In a city where up to 60,000 new TB patients are registered every year, health activists say paediatric TB care is extremely inadequate.
TB is a highly infectious disease with a high global mortality rate that is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. The most common way that TB spreads is through droplets breathed or coughed into the air. Even if they don’t exhibit symptoms of TB, children might still be infected with the germs. Controlling TB infection and maintaining the indoor air quality is a top public health goal.
Exposure. When a child comes into contact with someone who is a carrier of the TB pathogen, this may happen. The child will show no symptoms, a normal chest X-ray, and a negative skin test.
Latent Tuberculosis. When a child carries TB germs in his or her body but shows no symptoms, this happens. The immune system of the affected child renders the TB bacteria dormant. The majority of those who contract the disease will always have latent TB. The skin test for this child would be positive, but the chest X-ray would be normal. He or she is not able to infect others.
TB illness. When a child shows indications of an ongoing infection, this occurs: both a positive chest X-ray and a positive skin test would be present for this child. If left untreated, he or she may transmit the illness.
For a healthy human life, living in a healthy environment is a must. Indoor air frequently contains bacteria and viruses that could be dangerous to one’s health, especially for those with weakened immune systems. When a child with tuberculosis coughs or sneezes, the germs are released into the air as an aerosol, which spreads the disease. In recent years, schools and medical clinics have reported outbreaks of tuberculosis, along with homeless shelters, jails, call centres, and banks, places with large numbers of people and poor ventilation.
Indoor air quality can be regulated in three ways to lower the risk of TB and other disease transmissions: dilution, filtration, and air purification by UVC lamps. These treatments not only successfully treat Tuberculosis but also successfully treat other microbial diseases including influenza.
1. By introducing more outside air into a place, dilution lowers the concentration of infectious organisms there. Dilution spreads the germs over a broader volume of air, which reduces the likelihood of spreading without actually killing the bacteria.
2. By passing the air through a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter that traps bacteria and viruses (as well as other particles), filtration lowers the concentration of infectious agents in an area. The extra fan power needed to get air through the filter with HEPA filtering can result in higher running costs.
3. As ultraviolet (UV) radiation damages the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of bacteria and viruses, including those of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, purifying the air with UVC lamps removes the infectious pathogens in the air. The infectious pathogen can no longer replicate due to this DNA damage. However, UVGI air purification calls for protecting people in the treated area from excessive UV radiation exposure. Therefore certain safeguards are a must: the UV source can be positioned in a standalone disinfection system, which can be used in the absence of human intervention; UVC lamps can be placed in the ventilation system’s ductwork; or in an open area inside a room, way above eye level. It is crucial to make sure that the UV radiation is contained to the area of the room that is above standing head height when placing UVGI in an open area to avoid exposing people to direct UV light. UVGI technology has long been utilized in hospitals and labs for air purification, but it can also be employed in public areas where people gather.
These three strategies can be applied singly or collectively.
A number of authorities have promoted the use of UVC lamps for air purification to improve indoor air quality, particularly the use of upper-room UVGI and UVC lamps with HVAC systems.
In his presentation for “Keeping Public Spaces Safe: Germicidal Ultraviolet Light for Air Sanitation During COVID-19,” presented by the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Global Health Institute, Edward Nardell emphasizes the use of upper-room UVGI to prevent the epidemic spread of measles among children in suburban Philadelphia day schools and maintain the indoor air quality.
A 1957–1958 study at a VA hospital in Livermore, California, was another interesting study that Dr. Nardell described. The observational study revealed that even the seasonal flu rate was significantly lower in rooms where UVC lamps had been put in to assist in stopping the spread of TB than it was in rooms without UV.
According to Lopez-Malo & Palou’s 2005 paper, the DNA linkages in bacteria are broken by ultraviolet (UV) radiation because of the shifting of electrons. Additionally, light from UVC lamps can lower the number of airborne germs present indoors; it has been noted that putting a UV light source in the air conditioning system’s duct can lower the number of microbes by 99.9%.
With more than 20 years of experience in UV technology, Alfaa UV has become a reputed name in the industry. It offers the latest UV sterilizer machines as well as UVGI solutions for surfaces, upper air, and HVAC applications to reduce the risk of infections and enhance the level of indoor air quality.
You can consider the following Alfaa UV products for your HVAC system:
A. ULTRA COIL
Ultra coil UV is helpful for deep cleaning of HVAC coils. It has a unique Parabolic Reflector System that proactively removes the biofilms to prevent air contamination and drain pans.
Ultraduct UV is useful for single-pass disinfection of airborne bacteria and viruses. Installed in supply or return ducts, it also enhances the lifespan of HEPA filters in HVAC systems.
STEREO-UP Upper Air UV System: It provides extensive coverage of upper sections in any room and has exceptionally potent UVGI.
STERO-360 UV sterilizer lamp device is highly efficient due to its mobility and compact size. Moreover, with its strong Power cords and internals, it has the capacity to run all day continuously. It can run on its own and can be scheduled & set up with a timer at times when there is no human intervention.
The prudent use of air conditioning is required in schools, weighing the overt dangers and discomfort of extreme heat against the covert dangers of inadequate ventilation. However, if used correctly, air disinfection equipment can reduce the spread of airborne illnesses like TB and boost indoor air quality. To install UVGI Technology in your HVAC systems, get in touch with Alfaa UV at +91-86579 23938.
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