UCD study finds air purifiers have four-fold increase in the removal of aerosols in poorly ventilated spaces

A study conducted by leading air solution provider, Camfil with UCD and the Mater Hospital in Dublin, find the effectiveness of air purifiers in cleaning unventilated spaces

A new study by Ireland’s largest air filtration provider, Camfil in conjunction with University College Dublin (UCD) and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital (MMUH) has found that Camfil’s City M air purifiers remove aerosols from poorly ventilated rooms at four times the normal rate. Experiments conducted by leading UCD researcher and lecturer, Dr. Kevin Nolan of the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, on the presence of aerosol in poorly ventilated spaces, used Camfil’s City M air purifiers to rapidly clean a room of aerosol. Camfil is a leading solutions provider that has over 50 year’s experience in clean air.

For the purpose of this experiment, a room at the MMUH in Dublin measuring 4m x 2.5m x 2.6m was filled with aerosol for thirty seconds, with the use of a smoke wand. The presence of aerosol was measured by observing the average image intensity of laser light scattered by the aerosol. These experiments found that when untreated, aerosol slowly dissipated over a period of 500 seconds. When the City M air purifier was at its maximum speed, the aerosol was cleared in under 160 seconds. When a small heater was used to provide added natural convection flow, the untreated aerosol particles dissipated in an alarming 800 seconds, which was reduced to below 200 seconds with the use of Camfil City M. The results of these experiments show that Camfil’s City M air purifier has the power to greatly reduce the presence of airborne particles compared to no treatment.

These findings are significant because on April 30th 2021 the WHO declared that COVID-19 is transmitted mostly through the inhalation of airborne aerosols within close range. Camfil’s air purifiers have the ability to reduce the spread of COVID-19, while also tackling more long-standing health problems. Air pollution is the single greatest environmental health risk in Europe. The WHO estimates that 400,000 deaths in Europe and 1,080 in Ireland every year are attributable to poor air quality. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified air pollution – particularly PM2.5 – as a leading cause of cancer. High Efficiency Particulate Air filtration (HEPA) technologies are capable of greatly reducing the circulation of airborne particulate matter by over 99 percent.

Commenting on the recent study, Paul Flanagan, Managing Director of Camfil Ireland said:

“Since 1963 Camfil has been committed to educating the public about the importance of clean air, and to providing top quality solutions to protect people, processes and the environment. The past year and a half has made our mission and purpose more important than ever before, as the idea of clean air has become a top priority for people. While COVID-19 is likely to be a temporary disaster, air pollution has become a permanent fixture for people all over the world. While ridding the earth of harmful pollutants is not an easy task, protecting our own personal environment is; we are determined to show people that installing HEPA filters into buildings can and will decrease the risk of inhaling harmful pollutants. This fantastic study by UCD is proof of the success of Camfil’s filters”

Dr. Kevin Nolan of the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at UCD added:

“We are very grateful to Camfil for allowing us to use their City M air purifiers for the purpose of these experiments. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 it has become more and more important to test new methods of keeping our indoor spaces clean and free from airborne particles. Camfil’s City M air purifiers have proven to be highly effective in removing the presence of aerosols quickly and efficiently, creating a healthier and safer environment. Conducting these experiments at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Dublin has allowed us to display how hospitals can benefit from the use of top-quality air purifiers to protect patients and staff”

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