People breathe up to 15,000 liters of air in and out every day. Yet few people give much thought to the quality of the air they breathe. Particularly indoors, where we spend more than 90 percent of our time on average, values such as temperature, humidity, and PM2.5 (fine dust with an aerodynamic diameter smaller than 2.5 micrometers) are crucial for well-being and health in addition to CO2 content. These variables have been shown to have a direct impact on the probability of viral infections such as influenza, SARS-CoV-1 or SARS-CoV-2. The RESET Viral Index provides real-time information about these probablities.
For the underlying formula, RESET researchers first evaluated more than 100 studies on air quality and infection potential and classified them into four key parameters that influence infection risk: virus survivability, host immune system health, dosage (amount over time), and transmission rate/infection. They then investigated how these parameters could be mapped with measured values to make them applicable to building operations and ventilation systems.
Relative measured values for temperature and humidity are incorporated into the “virus survivability” and “host immune system health” parameters. They are highly interdependent: warm and humid air increases virus survivability, for example, while dry air makes it more difficult for the body to remove viruses via the mucous membranes and increases the risk of infection.
The “PM2.5 impact” measures the number of suspended particles in the air: the higher the concentration of PM2.5, the higher the risk of infection. The “dosage” parameter is based on the CO2 value and reflects the occupation level of a room with people and thus the risk of becoming infected. On average, about 1,000 viruses have to be inhaled before infection occurs if the room is full of people talking and breathing, the risk increases.
Reliable results depend on reliable data which is why temperature, humidity, CO2 and PM2.5 levels are continuously measured by sensors. The index uses a number to provide information about air quality and the risk of infection. A value of 100 percent means that indoor air quality is optimal and the risk of infection is minimal, while 1 percent indicates very poor air and a very high risk of infection. So users are not only informed in real time, but can also take appropriate action to close potential “safety gaps” in ventilation systems.
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Better air. Better life.
Indoor air quality for better health and well-being.
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