Could air cleaning technology be the key to schools reopening safely?

A ground-breaking range of air and surface sanitiser units has been launched by Oxford-based Airdri Group, which the company believes is crucial in the Government’s mission to return children and teachers to schools safely.

Increased cleaning measures need to be incorporated into the school day to protect those who are in school, providing a further pressure on education staff.

Initial efficacy data has demonstrated extremely positive results in both the reduction of harmful micro-organisms in the air and on surfaces, as well as much lower levels of employee absence through sickness.

A 42% reduction in absenteeism was reported by one company which installed the SteraSpace technology into its workplace environment. The organisation installed ten of the SteraSpace units in key locations. Results showed specific reduction in absenteeism of employees with asthma, cold, cough, influenza, chest / respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses and saved the business £213,704 in sickness cover over three months.

And there could be similar benefits in educational settings. Steve Whittall, group director of R&D and operations at Airdri explains:

“Schools are busy places and it’s difficult to manage social distancing, especially among younger age groups. However, we believe SteraSpace could hold the solution.

“Simply installing one of our SteraSpace sanitisers in a school would provide 24/7 infection and odour control by sanitising surrounding air and exposed surfaces. Within minutes, micro-organisms in the air are almost eliminated, significantly reducing the risk of cross-infection, and negating the need for heightened cleaning regimes.”

How does it work?

The units combine Photo Catalytic Disinfection (PCD), Germicidal Irradiation and Dual Waveband UV technology to create the most advanced virus and bacteria control technology of its kind. This offers a unique and highly effective way to eliminate bacteria, mould, fungi, viruses, dust mites, allergens, and harmful VOCs to result in clean air and surfaces in the workplace.

Not only this but after the initial installation cost, the units cost in the region of just £2 per month to run, with an annual outlay of around £50 for a new bulb.

Depending on the size of the room, the cost of purchasing an air sanitisation unit starts at around £250.

Benefits of SteraSpace technology at a glance

1. Effectively removes viruses, bacteria, mould, fungi & odours
2. Cleans deep into fabrics, prolongs life of carpets and soft furnishings
3. Eliminates need for masking agents
4. Can help to reduce staff absenteeism and agency costs
5. Improves environment for residents, staff and visitors

Steve added: “We’re extremely proud of both the effectiveness of the product, but also how the technology can be used in alternative ways for niche or more demanding spaces.

“It really is one of the best ways that educational institutes can ensure the safety and assurance of pupils and teachers alike on their return.”

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