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Indoor air quality monitoring in the HORECA sector to prevent the spread of viruses

Published on 13 January, 2021

Indoor air quality,

Hotels, restaurants, or coffee shops, are places where air quality is adversely affected due to the number of people who are indoors. This, coupled with the current context of a COVID-19 pandemic, makes it more important than ever to know the air that is breathed indoors. How is it possible? Monitoring indoor air quality with a device like Nanoenvi IAQ.

What parameters should be monitored to prevent the presence of viruses?

ENVIRA has developed a device to prevent the transmission of viruses such as COVID-19. This is a configuration of its successful Nanoenvi IAQ, which shows the virus index in the air, monitoring parameters such as:

  • PM10 particles
  • PM 2.5 particles
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO)
  • Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs
  • Relative Humidity
  • Atmospheric pressure
  • Temperature

With this information, HORECA managers can know if indoor air quality is helping or preventing the survival of harmful viruses.

Why is it not enough to monitor CO2 to prevent the spread of viruses?

Monitoring indoor CO2 levels is a reliable indicator for ventilation rate or social distance; however, it is not enough to ensure optimal conditions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Proof of this is the recent study conducted by the University of California at Davis and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, and published in Nature Communications, which shows that the influenza virus (flu) can spread through the air in the dust, fibers and other microscopic particles.

The result of this research highlights the need to also monitor other parameters such as dust particles in the ambient air of indoor rooms such as hospitality establishments.

What are the advantages of installing a device that monitors indoor air quality?

  • Improvement of the work environment for employees and for customers and users.
  • Application of improvements in the ventilation and air renewal strategy.
  • Reduction of the feeling of “loaded environment”.
  • Decreased risk of spreading diseases or infections by air.
  • Increased productivity and performance at work level.
  • Guarantee of a safe and healthy environment.

Indoors pollutant sources

The main pollutant sources that can be found in interior spaces of hotels and restaurants are:

  • Combustion produced by the operation of the kitchens.
  • Emissions produced by building materials and furniture, such as paints or varnishes.
  • A deteriorated insulation.
  • Newly installed floors, upholstery, carpets or rugs.
  • Furniture treated with certain products.
  • The use of cleaning and maintenance products.
  • The operation of central heating and cooling systems.
  • The use of humidification devices.
  • Excess of moisture.

Health risks of polluting sources in horeca establishments

Regardless of the current COVID-19 pandemic context, monitoring indoor air quality is important to ensure a safe environment for workers and customers. These are the risks associated with health from polluting sources found in hospitality establishments:

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2): the presence of gas inside a hospitality establishment is the result of human respiration itself. CO2 concentration is often used as an indirect indicator of indoor air quality and its monitoring through sensors allows knowing the effectiveness of ventilation. Ideally, an interior space should not exceed 800 particles per million (ppm).
  • Carbon monoxide (CO): Continuous inhalation of high concentrations can cause discomfort such as fatigue, headache or loss of concentration.
  • Suspended particles (PM10 and PM2.5): Suspended particles, whose danger lies in their small size. These pollutants have a serious effect on the respiratory system, and can even modify the immune system.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde: Volatile organic compounds are chemicals that contain carbon and are found in all living elements. Its main effect on health is its ability to irritate the eyes, mucous membranes, and skin.

If you want more information about Nanoenvi IAQ, click here.

Indoor air quality monitoring in the HORECA sector to prevent the spread of viruses

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