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Ventilation Systems, Air Purifiers, Contact Surfaces, Etc. In Public Places That Have Changed From The Past

Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst



As the pandemic hit, we looked to the authorities for guidance in every aspect of protecting ourselves. The individual things we could do on a day-to-day basis became a regular part of our lives. As individual people, we wore masks, maintained social distance and followed other guidance. But there was so much more going on in the background. Companies were busy protecting us. Innovators like us were making new ways to help us live.

Businesses and governmental departments were looking at how to protect people when they inevitably came into contact with public places. It came down to the surfaces we touch and the air we breathe. Without thinking about it, we come into contact with hundreds of surfaces a day that have also been touched by others. A stair rail, a door handle, the counter in a shop, the seat on public transport or in a local park. At the time of the pandemic, we needed to assess all of these contact points (not forgetting the air in these spaces) to ensure we were able to manage transmission rates.

What Was The World Like Before?

It seems like many moons ago that we were living a ‘transmission life.’ We touched these surfaces, breathed this air without the need to feel like it was a problem. There were still many transmissible diseases such as the flu. We were still at risk of catching these and/or passing them on. And we lived with this risk, often ignorant of the consequences.

This was a time where we would do all of the following without thinking about it –

  • Go to a pub, bar or restaurant
  • Sit on a plane, train or other method of public transportation
  • Go to a concert, cinema, theatre or other public place
  • Give (and receive) a hug to/from someone

As the world starts to open up again, we have seen these events managed and made more accessible again. But there has been a great deal of work in the background to make this such.

What Has Happened Since?

We have seen many different aspects of life alter to manage infection, including the use of ventilation systems, air purifiers amendments to contact surfaces and other methods. So, let’s take a look at the changes that have been made –

Contact Surfaces

The manner and frequency of cleaning has changed significantly in the period since we learned about COVID-19 and the dangers it poses. We know that water droplets, aerosols and contact are the main ways in which the virus spreads. Surfaces can be contaminated with the virus when people talk, sneeze, cough or breathe on or near these surfaces. Any businesses, especially those in the food supply chain, have made more regular and deeper cleaning an integral part of their COVID response. Put simply, the more a surface is cleaned, the less likely it will be to pass on the virus to those in contact with it.

Another innovative solution is attaching surface-attached films to buildings, public transportation, and cafes. PET films can be used in this way as a means of fighting viruses and bacteria to help all of humanity.

And this is where innovative solutions can help. Surfaces that have antibacterial or antiviral qualities can transform the way we live, making it less likely to contract and/or pass the virus, or indeed any other similar illness such as the common cold. We have made such solutions and would be more than happy to discuss these with you.


Personal hygiene is an integral part of controlling the spread of any virus. Employers have provided handwashing facilities and encouraged this more with their teams. Signs and posters have been placed in public toilets to state the importance of washing hands – plus how to carry this out effectively. Unfortunately, pre-COVID, we weren’t as good at this as we should be across the population as a whole. Going back to basics with public hygiene has been a major factor in virus control.

Ventilation Systems

Ensuring adequate ventilation makes sure that there is a reduction of the virus in the air at any one time. We have been told that something as simple as opening a window can reduce the possibility of contracting COVID. Although this doesn’t have much of an effect on transmission via surface contact or water droplet transmission, it does reduce the risk from aerosols. Put simply, this is the chance of contracting it from the air you breathe.

Large areas are easier to ventilate than smaller ones on the whole. But there are both natural and mechanical ways of increasing ventilation. Fans and airducts can bring fresh air into a space as well as removing ‘stale’ air. These are most readily associated with operating theatres and on aeroplanes but are in situ across businesses globally.

Air Purifiers

The use of air purifiers has been much talked about during the pandemic. Although they were in use prior to this, they have become incredibly popular over the last eighteen months or so. Air purifiers generally come in two different types – either filters or sanitizers. The filters will physically remove particles of matter that are in the air. They get caught in the filtration system and are no longer present in the air. Sanitizers will actually kill viruses from the air. Most of these are based on UV light killing the virus, plus mould or fungal spores.

If you’re looking at protecting yourself, your home, your business and your people then you should consider which of these solutions is correct for you. We’re all looking to going back to something like normal. But it is difficult to say what that ‘new normal’ will look like. By assessing what you can do to make a positive difference, you can help make the world a safer place.

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