Room, Space or School Ventilation Photo: HRV.Co.Nz

Poorly ventilated rooms 6 times likely to expose consumers to contaminants ─Study

*Experts found having proper ventilation is important to reducing the spread of germs to consumers

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in a new study explored some of the risks associated with poor ventilation.

ConsumerConnect also gathered such a poorly ventilated a space, room or school is fast adding to the nursing homes’ Coronavirus (COVID-19) risks in consumers, according to TheConversation.

The study findings noted that rooms that have poor circulation could be as much as six times more likely to expose consumers to harmful contaminants.

Woody Delp, one of the researchers, said: “When everything’s well mixed, everybody’s exposed to the same conditions.

“When it’s not well mixed, you can have, from a COVID perspective, potential hot spots. So, if there’s one infected individual in the room, instead of having their expelled breath fully dispersed and then properly diluted and removed by the HVAC system, another person sitting next to them or even across the room could get a high concentration of that infected person’s emitted viral aerosol.”

In regard to exploration of the risks of poor ventilation for the study, the researchers conducted a study using nine test dummies in Berkeley’s FLEXLAB to understand how ventilation plays a role in infection risk.

In a trial, the dummies were arranged classroom-style, and in another trial, they were seated in a circle.

The dummies were programmed to release heat, much in the way humans would when talking, and the researchers manipulated the controls in the room to determine how ventilation came into play.

Researcher Chelsea Preble also stated: “With the FLEXLAB, we were able to control every aspect of the HVAC system, which is how we were able to iterate on so many different conditions for the two types of occupancy configurations.

“We were also able to have temperature and air velocity measurements throughout the room in addition to our measurements of CO2. Those helped us verify and quantify the mixing problem.”

The experts ultimately, learned that when heat is forced into rooms, it can often create issues with contaminants if the air isn’t mixing properly around the space.

When the air is cool or neutral, respiratory emissions aren’t as likely to travel around the room.

However, heat can become problematic, regardless of how far apart people are spaced out in the area.

The researchers found that when there isn’t proper ventilation, forced heat can make people up to six times as likely to breathe in other respiratory droplets.

This is concerning when thinking about the spread of infection.

“We know the chain of events that it takes to get a person exposed, and it’s complicated and extraordinarily variable.

“An infected person talking and breathing expels droplets and aerosols of various sizes. But even when some of those are inhaled by someone else, they may or may not get infected,” said Delp.

He further stated: “From others’ studies, we know that the quantity of viruses emitted by an individual infected person can vary widely.

“One person may expel millions more viruses than another infected person — and that varies over the course of an infection ….

“And to top it off, the number of viruses that it takes to initiate an infection also likely varies between people and with the sizes of the aerosols that are inhaled.

“As indoor air quality scientists and engineers, our focus is on what can be done with ventilation, filtration, and air distribution to reduce risks even when all the details of the biology are not known.”

Kindly Share This Story