Research Challenges Air Cleaners' Ability to Prevent IllnessHealth | November 18, 2023, Saturday // 10:34| views
New research from the University of East Anglia challenges the effectiveness of air filtration systems in preventing viral illnesses. The study casts doubt on the capabilities of these technologies to enhance safety in indoor environments, contrary to expectations.
The investigation delved into air filtration, germicidal lights, and ionizers, finding little evidence supporting their efficacy against respiratory or gastrointestinal infections. Prof Paul Hunter from UEA's Norwich Medical School emphasized that while air cleaners aim to filter contaminants from the air, their real-world impact on reducing airborne viruses is limited.
Despite heightened interest during the Covid pandemic, this study urges a thorough evaluation of costs versus benefits before implementing such expensive technologies. Lead researcher Dr Julii Brainard stressed that evidence from 32 real-world studies failed to demonstrate these technologies' ability to protect individuals from infections.
The team acknowledged existing strategies like germicidal lights and HEPA filtration reducing environmental and surface contamination but found no compelling evidence that they prevented illnesses. Dr Brainard highlighted the need for transparent publication of studies conducted during the pandemic to make informed assessments of air treatment technologies.
Collaborating with various institutions, the University of East Anglia spearheaded this research to offer critical insights into the effectiveness of air treatment systems in preventing viral illnesses.
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