Measurement of infectious aerosols, such as COVID-19, in the workplace

Whether in a small workshop, in large production plants or in the office - clean uncontaminated air is a basic requirement for a healthy workplace. The importance of monitoring indoor air quality became clear with the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

It has now been scientifically proven that these viruses are mainly transmitted via airborne aerosols. Since these aerosols and their “cargo” are very small (SARS-CoV-2 virus 0.08-0.16 µm), they remain in the air for a very long time before being deposited by physical interactions, without being defined.

Infectious aerosols in rooms can now be detected by targeted measurements. Our WESSLING experts for air measurements in the workplace conduct these for you on-site in your facility or company.

Workplace measurements of COVID-19 using a new scientific method*)

These measurements are particularly useful in work areas of large production facilities, in all branches of industry, where many people are working at the same time. Moreover, measurements are recommended in areas where there are particular health hazards, such as care facilities and hospitals, as these are predominantly home to sick or elderly people. Due to the compact measurement technology, sampling can also be conducted in public transport, even in aeroplanes.

Thanks to our powerful, highly sensitive measurement technology, a measurement in a work area - depending on its size - takes between ten and 60 minutes; in practice, 30 minutes have proven to be sufficient. Therefore, it is possible, within one day, to sample several areas. The samples are then transferred to the specialised laboratory. There, the filter cassettes are prepared according to a validated procedure and then quantitatively analysed with PCR (polymerase chain reaction). As a result, our client receives a number concentration of virus RNA copies per cubic metre of air. The determined number of virus RNA copies correlates closely with the virus concentration in the room air. 

Uncomplicated, fast implementation provides additional safety

This type of measurement has several advantages: the measurements can be conducted person-related (mobile), or room-related (stationary). No one has to actively contribute or interrupt their work. Conversely, this means that the air in a room can also be measured for its relative safety before it is used. At the same time, a statement can be made about the effectiveness of existing air purification devices.

If the results of the air measurement are positive for infectious aerosols, it may be useful to combine this with a subsequent rapid test.

   

*) Elution Efficiency of Airborne Virus Captured by the Zefon Vira-Pore Cassette under Various Sampling and Sample Storage Conditions. A preliminary report prepared by T. Myers et al. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2021

Your contact person on hazardous substance measurements at the workplace

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Mathias Beyer

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