Coronavirus: Twelve times less risk of contamination in a class equipped with an air purifier

Bert Blocken gives the concrete example of a class of 25 students. If a contaminated student infects the 24 other students in a class without an air purifier through the air, he would only infect two when the class is equipped with such a system. The engineer bases this calculation on an internationally recognized formula that determines the risk of infection.

In order to be able to estimate the risk of contamination even more precisely with and without air purifiers, additional data is necessary, underlines Bert Blocken, who recalls that children can be contaminated outside the school grounds.

The project therefore runs until the end of December of this year. A total of 100 schools participate: 47 in Flanders, 3 in Wallonia and 50 in the Netherlands. In total, 1,000 classrooms are monitored: 500 with purifier, 500 without.

Constantly cleaned air

The air purifiers used in the study reduce the concentration of aerosols by 90-95%. The air is completely cleaned six times per hour.

According to the calculations of the Blocken team, 120 million euros would be needed to equip all classrooms in Flanders with an air purifier. “It’s the same amount as the cost of three weeks of PCR tests for the government,” notes the engineer. “So it would be ‘peanuts’.”

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