Air pollution filters to protect NHS staff and patients from coronavirus

Healthcare transport provider, the HATS Group (HATS), is installing clean air technology in 100 vehicles used to transport patients to help reduce exposure to coronavirus.

AirLabs, which is supplying its ‘AirBubbl’ in-vehicle air filters to HATS, has published a white paper on reducing exposure to airborne viruses using air filtration systems. It explains its evidence behind airborne virus transmission and how air filtration can effectively remove bioaerosol particles, which help to spread the virus.

By using air filtration in an enclosed space and reducing the airborne virus load, HATS says there is a potential to reduce transmission of the virus where people are in close proximity, such as ambulances, patient transport and other service vehicles.

HATS originally ordered 100 of the devices from AirLabs to protect its drivers and passengers from London air pollution. The installation has now been ramped up to provide an additional layer of protection for its workers from exposure to coronavirus, as its vehicles are repurposed to support London hospitals, including Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust and St George’s Hospital, which are putting protective measures in place to manage the crisis.

Matthew Johnson, professor of Chemistry at University of Copenhagen and chief science officer at AirLabs, said: ‘Our focus here is on reducing exposure for workers who cannot avoid close contact with coronavirus patients, and for anyone working in essential jobs in enclosed spaces.

‘The science shows that by installing air filtration devices in vehicles, it is possible to remove more than 95% of airborne particles. By decreasing the concentration of airborne particles that could contain the virus being breathed in by workers in critical environments, we reduce the risk of them being infected.

‘Quantifying the potential scale of airborne virus transmission is a global challenge that many people are working to better understand. We believe a sensible approach is to use all available means to minimise the risk of exposure, in particular for those working in essential roles.’

Photo Credit – AirLabs

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