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Acid in the office aircon kills Covid but we have a less drastic solution

The lethal threat from Covid has subsided, but enlightened employers will still be interested in ways to keep their workforce healthy.

So this news caught our eye. Scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Techology have discovered that injecting nitric acid into a building’s air conditioning will kill SARS-COV-2 in less than 60 seconds.

Normal office air, while pretty acid already and deadly to flu in under a minute, can harbour the Covid virus for days.

And on paper, nitric acid could actually be a solution.

The level of nitric acid in an aircon system that would be required to kill off airborne Covid particles is less than 10% of the legal safe level for workplaces in the US and most of Europe, reported the Economist.

But the newspaper did acknowledge that people may hesitate to accept acidic air in exchange for viral protection.

Better Way

A less controversial route towards healthier office air is CO2 monitoring.

Carbon dioxide gas builds up where there is poor ventilation so it is a reliable proxy for stale air that can harbour all sorts of nasty germs.

What’s more, high CO2 levels are proven to reduce productivity and wellbeing.

Our advanced environmental sensor not only reports accurately on CO2 levels but also provides valuable data on noise, etc. etc.

And our industry-leading occupancy sensors include temperature monitoring as standard.

On the question of acid in the air, though, the Economist points out you may want to wear a mask in buildings such as museums, galleries and libraries where, to protect valuable exhibits, the air is treated to reduce acidity.

Source: The Economist Science & Technology 7 January 2023

Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash