Over 75% of attendees of the iaconnects webinar hosted by EnOcean selected air quality monitoring, as one of the most valuable IoT solutions, specifically due to the current pandemic.
Recording air quality data is one way to monitor ventilation in spaces, whether indoors or outdoors. As Covid-19 transmission is widely recognised to spread at a much lower rate outdoors, the main focus for building managers should be indoor air quality, looking at CO2 levels, temperature and relative humidity.
UK government guidance issued on 4th November states:
Poorly ventilated buildings are particularly conducive to virus spread. Where possible, poorly ventilated spaces should be adapted to improve ventilation or, if that is not possible, they should not be used.
A 2019 study on a tuberculosis outbreak at Taipei University, Taiwan, provides detailed evidence. Many of the rooms were poorly ventilated and reached CO2 levels above 3,000 ppm. When engineers brought levels down to under 600 ppm the outbreak stopped.
Reducing CO2 levels could have a similar impact on Covid-19 as it did on tuberculosis. Studies undertaken in the last few years have found that higher levels of CO2 have a negative impact of productivity. Although this should not currently be the key driver to reduce CO2 levels indoors, it would be an additional benefit to employees and the organisation as a whole.
Outdoor air quality can also have a big impact on employee health and wellbeing. By monitoring environmental parameters including temperature, humidity, oxygen, CO2, carbon monoxide and particulates.
According to Dr. Stephanie Taylor - Infection Control Consultant at Harvard Medical School: There is now overwhelming scientific evidence that a mid-range air humidity has significant benefits for human health. The time has come for regulations on indoor air quality to include a humidity level of 40-60%RH.
About six million people aged over 65 in England are at high risk of lung damage and asthma attacks because of toxic air, according to a new report. The focus of the report is exposure to fine particulate matter, with PM2.5 particles being so small that they can lodge in the lungs and pass into the bloodstream. By having access to particulate level data, precautions can be put in place to combat the risk of lung damage.
Adding air quality sensors to monitor CO2, particulates and much more, sending alerts when levels are increasing towards an unsafe level, is a simple but effective way to potentially reduce the transmission of Covid-19 and the risk of lung disease and asthma attacks.
The implementation of smart building, or IoT, solutions can assist organisations by allowing them to monitor occupancy and people. Following UK Government guidance and implementing these types of solution, will allow organisations to safely bring people back to the office, whilst also providing a valuable solution for the future.
Contact iaconnects to discuss how to go monitor air quality in your organisation.