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Thursday - 14 January 2021

Difficulties with ventilation? – A virtual round table discussion on the use of portable air purifiers with HEPA filters during the coronavirus pandemic

  • MANN+HUMMEL instigated a round table discussion on the use of portable air purifiers during the coronavirus pandemic
  • The experts agree that portable air purifiers should be included in every hygiene concept

Ludwigsburg, 14 January 2021 – What part can air purifiers with HEPA filters play during the coronavirus pandemic? When and where does it make sense to use air filter devices and how can air filters become an integral part of every hygiene concept? These questions were the key focus of a recent virtual round table discussion. MANN+HUMMEL invited experts to attend this in order to encourage dialogue and discussion on responsible ways out of the pandemic.

The panel consisted of Professor Achim Dittler from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), head of the ‘Gas Particle Systems’ working group at the Institute for Mechanical Process Engineering and Mechanics and member of the Baden-Württemberg state government’s ‘Aerosols Expert Group’, Dr Jürgen Herbers, member of the Board of Directors of the Baden-Württemberg Association of General Practitioners and head of a Covid-19 specialist clinic, and Dr Martin Lehmann, responsible for collaborative research projects to strengthen leadership in filtration at MANN+HUMMEL.

The experts agreed that mobile air purifiers play an important part in stopping the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. They should therefore be a part of any comprehensive hygiene concept, along with rapid vaccinations and te strict adherence to the applicable hygiene measures.

Prof. Achim Dittler described studies which have been carried out in classrooms at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology: “Our results have shown that a high-quality air purifier fitted with a filter medium proven to be highly effective can significantly reduce the particle concentration indoors with the correct ratio of volume rate to room volume, taking the installation conditions into consideration, and can constantly maintain this low level.” Dittler went on to say that “portable indoor air filters are an additional, effective element of an overall concept to reduce the risk of infection through aerosols. However, even if such a device is used, rules regarding social distancing, hygiene measures, mask-wearing and ventilation still need to be strictly observed.”

Dr Jürgen Herbers spoke on the panel about his positive experiences with portable air purifiers. He emphasised the particular importance of air filters, especially in indoor spaces where vulnerable groups come into contact – such as his Covid-19 specialist clinic: “Air purifiers are a useful addition to the existing social distancing and hygiene rules, and help to reduce the viral load in indoor spaces such as waiting or treatment rooms. This also means the intervals between the room being ventilated can be significantly extended and the room does not cool down as much. This additional measure really helps us to protect our patients and medical staff against infection.” Herbers went on to say: “Air filter systems provide general protection against the transmission of viruses via the respiratory system, meaning that they can also reduce other illnesses that are transmitted in this way such as colds and the flu.”

Dr Martin Lehmann views high-quality air purifiers as something that should always be considered and as an integral tool for beating the pandemic: “My hope is that the public debate doesn't focus on comparing on measure against another but that we instead see an interdisciplinary consultation on the subject of hygiene. The subject of filter quality should also play an important part here. Not every filter is the same.” Lehmann observed that the coronavirus pandemic has increased awareness of a healthy indoor climate in Germany. “In other countries, such as the U.S. or in Asia, ventilation and air-condition systems with high-quality filter media come as standard in many buildings – something that Germany needs to catch up with!”

The virtual round table discussion was attended by around 70 people from the areas of politics, public administration, education, health and industry, and these participants contributed a great many questions and suggestions.

MANN+HUMMEL was thrilled with the large turnout: “The response to our first virtual round table discussion was extremely positive and reinforces our plan to continue with this format going forward,” said Gudmund Semb, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer for MANN+HUMMEL. “As we begin to discover the new normal, we want to inform as wide a range of people as possible about the use of portable air purifiers.”

The event was recorded and can be watched using the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdyUi07NxrA&feature=youtu.be.

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