With coronavirus dominating the news and fears about the level of contagion sparking increasingly more forceful responses from governments around the world, people are being advised to self-isolate if they are experiencing any flu-like symptoms.
Why are government advising people to stay away from work, school, conferences, pubs, and other indoor places? It’s because coronavirus, as with all other illnesses, is more likely to be passed on indoors.
How can you protect yourself, your staff, and the people who depend on your organisation from illness? By installing an Airius PureAir air purification and odour control system.
In this article, we examine:
- how colds and viruses spread
- why you’re less likely to catch a cold or a virus outdoors
- the negative health effects of poor quality indoor air in general
- the economic consequences for businesses which don’t take air quality seriously
- how clean indoor air can actually prevent the spread of illness in a workplace
- introducing the Airius PureAir system and how to find out more about it
The Process Of Cold Or Virus Spread
We become ill when germs, bacteria, viruses, fungal spores, viroids, prions, or protozoans enter our body and our immune system has no immediate defence against this new pathogen.
Most of the time, our immune system starts to work out the exact weapon it needs to successfully fight against these pathogens. Inside us, for a few days, there is a way as our defence system protects us and we are the friendly fire in that war.
But how do they spread? Colds and viruses spread a number of different ways, some of the most common being airborne and through direct or indirect contact with the pathogen. If you work with someone and they have poor WC hygiene habits, you and your colleagues are particularly vulnerable.
Why Are You Less Likely To Catch A Cold Or Virus Outdoors?
Assuming you’re wearing appropriate clothing for the outside temperate and weather conditions, you are less likely to catch a cold or virus outdoors because the air which surrounds you is constantly changing.
Fresh air is good for you and the unceasing movement of air outdoors is too hostile for most viruses and bacteria to survive and the opportunity to latch onto a host is greatly diminished. Studies in America have even shown that those of us who enjoy an outdoor life are likely to be healthier, less susceptible to illness, and less likely to suffer from allergies because, among other things, the “goodness” of outdoor air and physical exercise helps to build our immune systems.
Indoor Air And The Health Effect On Individuals
Colds and viruses are much happier indoors – the environment is far less harsh for them. MRSA, Norwalk virus, streptococcus, bird flu, swine flu, candida albicans, listeria, streptococcus pneumoniae, staphylococcus aureus, and bacillus globigii can survive outside of a human body for a longer time than you might think if the environment is right for them.
We might be sharing an office or a bus in the winter with others meaning we’re in much closer contact with these other people and their germs.
If you’re already ill and the air quality is poor, it makes the cold or virus you’re suffering from worse. Pollutants, whether indoors or outdoors, cause our body to produce “inflammatory” agents en masse and, past a certain point, they actually inhibit our recovery.
Indoors, those pollutants might be cleaning product chemicals. Pollutants may be caused by damp, poor ventilation (meaning continuous exposure to the same germs), your home heating system, and even your cooking methods.
The risk of catching a cold or virus in your own home is much greater than being outside but that risk is dwarfed by the threat of infection in the workplace.
The Economic Impact For Companies With Bad Indoor Air
Governments’ first reaction to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has not been to advise people to go to work or school – it’s to stay at home.
That’s because the pollutants often introduced into your workplace by your colleagues, customers, service users or patients are much worse because there are so many people. It’s the same reason so many new students become sick after they move into a hall of residence with hundreds of other people.
At least if you’re in your own home, there’s only you and your family to worry about – in a work environment, there’ll be the cough, the sneezes, the unwashed hands, and more of potentially hundreds of carriers who can pass on their ailment to you.
Every sneeze and cough indoors means that we’re at a greater risk of exposure. And the risk of exposure lasts long after the sneeze or the cough because germs can survive for much longer without a host indoors. Every time we touch the furniture, the fixtures, or the door handles in an office or on a bus, these germs who are enjoying an extended life have another opportunity to infect us.
When you’re in work and one or more colleagues is sick, it’s hard sometimes not to resent the extra workload on you. But, for some companies and organisation, that resentment and dissatisfaction goes a lot further because of something called Sick Building Syndrome (SBS).
SBS describes when numerous colleagues within a company claim that the building they work in makes them feel poorly. In cases where SBS is not caused by assembly process or construction material defects, poor cleaning, poor air quality, and insufficient building maintenance is to blame.
There is a way to protect your colleague’s health and to prevent the spread of cold and viruses among your workforce – thorough and regular cleaning, better movement of air within a confined space, and better quality of air within a confined space.
Clean Indoor Air Prevents The Spread Of Illness – A New Approach
Your office should be cleaned a few times every week with a deep clean taking place every three months. For your cleaners or contract cleaners, the deep clean will take a lot longer if germs, bacteria, and viruses’ lives are made easier by stale, stagnant, and inadequate indoor air quality. And a deep clean on its own isn’t enough.
If you solve the problem or poor air quality, the experience of our customers suggests that absenteeism will decline by 20%. Your no-longer sick building will not be the cause of an average of five days of sick leave per year per employee.
The Airius Pureair Air Purification And Odour Control System
The germs, bacteria, and viruses present in poor quality air will make yours a less pleasant company or organisation to work for. But how do you kill them – or at least 99.99% of them.
You do that through a process called oxidation – it’s the same chemical that causes metal to rust. Oxidation causes complex and damaging reactions in the underlying structure of germs, bacteria, viruses, fungal spores, viroids, prions, and protozoans.
It’s achieved by shining a broad spectrum, high-efficiency UV light into an enclosed indoor area – this light reactions with airborne moisture to create something called hydroperoxides. The hydroperoxides accelerate the oxidation process in the pathogens present in the area of use within your office or workplace.
The Airius PureAir reduced by a factor 99.99% the presence of MRSA, Norwalk Virus, Streptococcus, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, Candida Albicans, and SARS within the space of 24hrs. There was also a 99.99% reduction in listeria, mould, streptococcus pneumoniae, staphylococcus aureus, and bacillus globigii present within 48 hours.
In addition, users benefit from:
- 99% food surface microbial reduction
- 97% airborne bacterial reduction
- 97% airborne mould reduction
- 85% odour reduction
- Over 80% VOC reduction
- 78% of microbes in human sneeze killed at 3 feet
The Airius PureAir System For Better Health And Healthier Staff
Companies using the PureAir system see a 20% reduction in absenteeism. The PureAir has been tested and approved by the Chinese Government for protection against the SARS Virus as well as receiving US military approval for mould protection in field hospitals.
We work with public sector organisations and businesses to improve their physical environments and to reduce energy expenditure. Our client roster includes British Airways, Harrods, Mercedes, Siemens, Morrisons and Waitrose.