If all the COVID-19 in the world can fit in a soft drinks can and 100 million particles can fit on a single pinhead, can filters really protect you from the virus?

The infinitesimally tiny size of a single COVID-19 particle is almost impossible for our minds to grasp. An article in February 2021 by Dr Christian Yates, Senior Lecturer in Mathematical Biology at the University of Bath, explored the size of the virus and calculated that the total volume of SARS-CoV-2 – that’s every single particle, everywhere in the world – could fit inside a Coke can.

Back in March 2020, meanwhile, Professor Peter Piot, Virologist and Director of the London School of Medicine and Hygiene, stated during a Q&A that: “Because virus particles are so incredibly small, billions can float on tiny droplets in the air from just one cough. Even with a regular microscope, you can’t see a virus.100 million viral particles of the novel coronavirus, can fit on a pinhead. That’s how incredibly small they are”. 

So, if COVID-19 is so inconceivably small, what role can HEPA filters play in removing the virus from the air?

The simple answer is that filters on their own CANNOT be regarded as providing a safe method of removing viruses from an indoor environment. 

The latest COVID-19 variant has been found to range in size between 40 and 120 nm. Even a top-of-the-range HEPA filter, the HEPA 13 Hospital-grade filter, will only trap down to 0.3 of a micron or 300 nanometres. If a single viral particle is between a quarter or half of that, the HEPA simply can’t handle it. Think back to those 100 million viral particles fitting on a pinhead – how many will simply pass through a standard filter? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

And yet, filters have been held up as an effective solution to safeguarding indoor air. Many schools, for example, have been busily installing filters thinking they will keep staff and students safe from airborne transmission of the virus. But will they? Let’s look a little closer at this.

In order to process 200m3 of air (that’s the average typical classroom volume) six times per hour, as per the standard currently requested by the German Government, classrooms would require a machine with an air processing capacity of 1200m3 per hour. This is an extremely high air flow rate for a mobile air cleaning/purifying unit. 

While this speed of processing, as proven by research, will increase the ability of viral particles to pass through the filter medium, it will also increase the dissemination of viral particles in a room which, guess what, INCREASES the risk of infection. As a side note, and as many teachers and pupils are discovering, filters can also be noisy and not conducive for a working or learning environment.

Where viral particles for whatever reason do not pass through the filter, but remain trapped on larger dust particles, they can survive for several days there, eventually breaking up and passing through into the room.

The ability of viral particles, and more particularly bacteria and fungi, to survive on filters has been well documented. This makes the changing of filters a hazardous procedure, underlining the need for filters to be regarded as dangerous waste. Filters therefore are clearly an environmental hazard and cannot be seen as a ‘green’ solution 

The solution is right here in Ireland. You don’t need to move it, change it, massage it or capture it, you can completely obliterate COVID-19 on contact with patented Irish Novaerus technology.

Irish-developed Novaerus technology uses a unique process to inactivate airborne viruses which has been developed here in our Irish laboratory. The lab, based on the world-class DCU Innovation campus, is staffed by international scientists, microbiologists and engineers, who spend countless hours studying and evaluating data and meeting customers to ensure products deliver maximum efficiency.  

Novaerus uses a physics-led technology (as opposed to chemical-led) which means our devices do not produce any harmful by-products. Our devices use NanoStrike technology, which is an atmospheric plasma discharge — the same type of discharge found in lightning strikes — to kill and deactivate harmful airborne microorganisms.

Inside the mobile devices – which can be plugged in and moved from room to room – there are plasma coils which generate the plasma discharge and, as air is drawn over the coils, airborne viruses, bacteria and spores are inactivated and deactivated at the DNA level on contact. 

Microorganisms are exposed directly to the plasma discharge, as opposed to by-products of the discharge, as the air flows over the coils. This means no dangerous by-products or chemicals are released so they are perfectly safe to use 24/7 around elderly people, children or those who are vulnerable and sick.

Novaerus is based on science, facts and proof. This is so important. Our technology has been independently tested in more than 30 international laboratories, including the esteemed US Aerosol Research and Engineering Laboratories. These trials have independently proven that Novaerus NanoStrike technology kills 99.997% per cent of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

Recently, the Novaerus Defend 1050 became the first ever system using NanoStrike technology to be cleared by the US FDA (Food & Drug Administration) to inactivate and filter out micro-organisms, including virus and bacteria, for medical use. This is the standard of scientific approval to which we operate. Others cannot say the same.

As a society, in order for us to move forward safely and stay open, we have a scientifically proven solution right here In Ireland. This solution can help us get back to work, back to school, back together, back to normal, by mitigating the risks associated with socializing and indoor gathering. We don’t just need to disinfect our air, we need to disinfect it using technology that has been proven safe. Novaerus can do just that – remember the name.

Inside the mobile devices – which can be plugged in and moved from room to room – there are plasma coils which generate the plasma discharge and, as air is drawn over the coils, airborne viruses, bacteria and spores are inactivated and deactivated at the DNA level on contact. 

Microorganisms are exposed directly to the plasma discharge, as opposed to by-products of the discharge, as the air flows over the coils. This means no dangerous by-products or chemicals are released so they are perfectly safe to use 24/7 around elderly people, children or those who are vulnerable and sick.

Novaerus is based on science, facts and proof. This is so important. Our technology has been independently tested in more than 30 international laboratories, including the esteemed US Aerosol Research and Engineering Laboratories. These trials have independently proven that Novaerus NanoStrike technology kills 99.997% per cent of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

Recently, the Novaerus Defend 1050 became the first ever system using NanoStrike technology to be cleared by the US FDA (Food & Drug Administration) to inactivate and filter out micro-organisms, including virus and bacteria, for medical use. This is the standard of scientific approval to which we operate. Others cannot say the same.

As a society, in order for us to move forward safely and stay open, we have a scientifically proven solution right here In Ireland. This solution can help us get back to work, back to school, back together, back to normal, by mitigating the risks associated with socializing and indoor gathering. We don’t just need to disinfect our air, we need to disinfect it using technology that has been proven safe. Novaerus can do just that – remember the name.