For Peace of Mind This Summer, Keep an Eye on Your Indoor Air Quality

June 14, 2021
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air purifier in a large cabin room

The arrival of COVID-19 has pushed indoor air quality into the spotlight like never before. We’re all concerned about who and what we’re sharing the air with. So now that the world is starting to open up, we take a look at some of the measures you can put in place to keep your campers and camp counselors safe this summer.

We now know that the main method of transmission for COVID-19 is airborne. Tiny particles of the virus escape into the surrounding air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These aerosols are so small, they can hang around in the environment for many hours, long after the infected person has left the room.

Minimize the risk of infection

Although most summer camp activities take place outdoors, indoor areas such as dining rooms and dorms pose more of a risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are a number of prevention strategies you can follow to minimise the chance of infection. As well as handwashing and cleaning high touch areas, ensure all indoor spaces are well-ventilated.

If an HVAC system is installed, set it to allow as much outdoor air in as possible. Open windows and fans also help to improve ventilation. However, it is worth noting, HVAC systems are designed for comfort and fans will help to circulate the air, but neither can be relied on for effective air filtration.

The CDC recommends HEPA for true peace of mind

Which is why the CDC also recommends the use of portable HEPA air purifiers. High-quality air purifiers use Medical Grade HEPA to filter the smallest of particles, including viruses, bacteria and other airborne allergens. Certified to filter 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns and 95% of particles down to 0.1 microns, Medical Grade HEPA filtration will significantly reduce the number of viral particles in an indoor environment and therefore minimize the risk of transmission.

Not all air purifiers are made equal

But watch out, the internet is awash with fake news on air filters. Manufacturers claim that "HEPA type" filters are just as effective as "True HEPA" but with a much lower price tag. Please proceed with caution: "HEPA type" filters are not regulated in the way that "True HEPA" is. This lack of regulation for "HEPA type" filters mean there is no guarantee they will remove any particles, large or small.

The drawbacks of ionizers

There is also a great deal of controversy surrounding electronic or ionizer air cleaners. Despite manufacturer claims that electronic devices remove particles from the air, this type of technology remains unproven. Some models have even been shown to produce dangerous levels of ozone. And those that do comply with emission levels still produce some ozone. Which raises the question, is any level of ozone acceptable? Most experts would say no.

Peace of mind this summer

All children and caregivers deserve clean air. As well as reducing the risk of infection from COVID-19, effective air filtration helps to lower the risk of asthma and allergy symptoms, improves sleep, and boosts overall health and well-being. The benefits of investing in good quality air filtration now, will outlast this pandemic and also prevent risk of future outbreaks.

Invest now, to keep your campers and camp counsellors happy and safe this summer.

This blog was provided by Austin Air Systems LTD

Periodically, the American Camp Association (ACA) makes timely and relevant information about products and services available to its members so they can make informed decisions for their camps. However, the ACA does not endorse products, services, or companies.