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Virus-free room and breathing air in supermarkets, shops and retail environments

High-frequency air cleaners with H14 virus filters to filter out viruses and bacteria from the room air

New infectious diseases such as influenza A/H5N1 (avian flu) or COVID-19 (coronavirus) spread all over the world in an irregular, yet continuous manner. The impacts on the diverse areas of daily life are rather drastic. Many salespersons who are not systemically relevant were forced to close their shops in times of highly infectious pandemics in order to prevent a newly-discovered virus from spreading and to reduce the numbers of infections and cases of death in the population. Meanwhile, more and more retail stores can be reopened again to certain conditions to supply customers as supermarkets and pharmacies do. Rising numbers of customers on the one hand and the ongoing risk of infection on the other makes scheduling logistics and staff planning very challenging. Moreover, disinfection and protection measures for the retail sector must be adapted to the respective hazardous situation.

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Example ‘supermarket’: By positioning the TAC V+ in rows in the cash zones, transfer zones can be established for both customers and cashiers, providing surrounding air that is filtered from viruses. By permanently circulating the respective areas with filtered air, the risk of infection significantly decreases in these zones.

Airborne bacteria and viruses require additional protective measures for the retail sector

Scientists and physicians assume that dangerous viruses such as the coronavirus are particularly transmitted via droplets and smear infection (contact infection), which is especially caused by the respiratory tract of infected persons emitting infectious droplets of saliva upon coughing. However, more recent studies report that e.g. the SARS-CoV-2 virus can also spread in the air in form of aerosols – microscopically small particles – where these remain infectious for up to 3 hours.

This means for the retail sector that the room air must be kept clean and germ-free to a maximum – just as retail spaces, shopping trolleys, shop counters and cash zones must continuously be disinfected with spraying and wiping agents.

Separating walls only separate people, not virus-infected air

The problem of freely floating aerosols with viruses being attached to them is exactly what it is: They are floating! Separating walls, sneeze guard barriers or protective screens on shop counters do not sufficiently provide viruses from spreading in the air. Plexiglas and also protective masks for mouth and nose indeed protect from direct ‘virus drizzle rain’ caused by certain manners of speaking. However, they do not provide protection from germ-laden aerosols floating freely in the room air!

Combining the use of masks and Plexiglas is a first important approach to reduce the risk of a direct droplet infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, this measure does not protect from a far greater danger of infection – accumulations of aerosol particles floating freely in the room air!

After all, persons do not only emit large visible drops in some sort of ‘virus drizzle rain’ into the room air when they talk, cough or sneeze, but, on a much larger scale, tiniest particles called aerosols. These floating particles only have the size of a thousandth of a millimetre which makes them invisible to the naked eye. If the persons are infected, the particles are contaminated with bacteria or viruses.

Aerosol accumulations spread like billows of smoke, only invisibly

The accumulation of aerosol consists of simultaneously emitted microfine droplets, comparable to billows of smoke. The particles will spread for several metres up and far across the room which is why they overcome physical sneeze guards barriers with no problem. As a result, they can get that easily into the respiratory tract and eyes of other people staying on the other side of the Plexiglas cover.

Airborne viruses are not familiar with social distancing rules

Only an all-round solution providing direct protection via Plexiglas in combination with continuous high-frequency air purification reliably and permanently reduces the risk of infection. For this reason, don’t only rely on physical barriers such as protective masks and sneeze guard barriers for protecting your employees, members or visitors. Aerosol particles in the room air don’t stick to the distance rules!