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NIST offers new tool for assessing airflow quality during COVID-19

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February 18, 2021

by Matt Phillion

Indoor air quality isn’t a new issue for healthcare facilities. Ensuring the quality of the air we breathe is a safety concern all organizations take into consideration both in daily life and when planning for alterations, updates, or improvements. The advent of COVID-19, however, has given healthcare facilities a fresh reason to examine the air quality in their buildings, with an eye to new risks and ways to prevent those risks from harming patients and staff.

Fortunately, tools are available to make that research easier. The indoor air quality experts at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a free tool, recently featured in a new article in the ASHRAE Journal. It estimates exposure to potentially infectious aerosols for people in a room. Calculations are based on information about the aerosols themselves as well as the room’s HVAC system and air filters.

Indoor air quality isn’t a new issue for healthcare facilities. Ensuring the quality of the air we breathe is a safety concern all organizations take into consideration both in daily life and when planning for alterations, updates, or improvements. The advent of COVID-19, however, has given healthcare facilities a fresh reason to examine the air quality in their buildings, with an eye to new risks and ways to prevent those risks from harming patients and staff.



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