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Commercial Travel

Air conditioning for small spaces are not designed to filter out viruses as small as the COVID-19 virus.

In an age when intercontinental travel is commonplace we must be more diligent in creating safer air quality for travelers and lessen the chances of spreading germs.

According to Qingyan Chen, air quality expert at Purdue University, air conditioning systems in small spaces are not designed to filter out particles as small as a COVID-19 virus. The way air moves through the air conditioning system in airplane cabins could transfer to other passengers sitting in the same row as an infected passenger, or even those sitting in a neighboring row.

“Systems can’t filter out particles smaller than 5,000 nanometers. If the coronavirus is about the same size as SARS, which is 120 nanometers in diameter, then the air conditioning system would be carrying the virus to every cabin on a cruise ship

Cruise ships and airplanes commonly mix outside air with inside air but it is not enough. It is done sparingly. Research at the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UCLA and Princeton University, found that COVID-19 was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours.

Typical ventilation systems replace air every 10 to 12 minutes. In an airplane cabin, the air will be recycled among passengers every two or three minutes. If the COVID-19 virus could stay airborne for three hours, it could come into a room 15 times before it dies. And that's very dangerous.

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