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PLoS One ; 16(10): e0258382, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463317

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 global pandemic has caused millions of infections and deaths despite mitigation efforts that involve physical distancing, mask-wearing, avoiding indoor gatherings and increasing indoor ventilation. The purpose of this study was to compare ways to improve indoor ventilation and assess its effect on artificially generated aerosol counts. It was hypothesized that inbuilt kitchen vents would be more effective in reducing indoor aerosol counts than opening windows alone. A fixed amount of saline aerosol was dispersed in the experimental area using a nebulizer under constant temperature and a narrow range of humidity. A laser air quality monitor was used to record small particle counts every 30 minutes from baseline to 120 minutes for four different experimental groups for each combination of kitchen vents and windows. The results of the study demonstrate that aerosol counts were lowest with the kitchen exhaust vents on. This study suggests that liberal use of home exhaust systems like the kitchen vents could achieve significantly more air exchange than open windows alone and may present an effective solution to improving indoor ventilation, especially during the colder months when people tend to congregate indoors in closed spaces. There were no safety concerns involved when conducting this experiment.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilation , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Environmental Monitoring , Humans , Particle Size
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