HEALTH

Clean Technologies To Fight Coronavirus And Other Biological Risks

air purifier technologies, ozone, ultraviolet, hepa

Guest article by Bogan

Like many regulars on this board the coronavirus situation has got me concerned, although ever-resolute in my duty to protect my family.  

It is worth repeating that the time to prepare is now, when supplies are still somewhat available, not when society at large has panicked and nothing is available.

The risk set we are all confronted with is the viral and biological component of “Nuclear, Biological, Chemical”.   

My initial experiences coming to grips with biological risks came back in the days of the anthrax scare.  Back then, it seemed the top things you could do were stock up on “Cipro”,  bleach, nitrile gloves, surgical face masks, N95/100 respirators and wash hands regularly.  

Then came SARS, and a compounding of equipment (tyvek suits, foggers, etc) chemicals and more.  

My my my.  What a different world we live in now.   Now we have coronavirus, and who knows what else.  Many of these formerly easily obtainable products are now hard to come by, especially in the “affordable” category.  

As a consequence, someone just getting started in their preparations is at a disadvantage to those who have been plodding along one prep at a time, for years.

There is some happy news, however.   This is something I’ve come to realize when evaluating my preparations, and assessing the gaps between where I am and where I need to be.

A concern I have had over the years is with all the chemicals, bleach and others, that are considered effective in treating surface and airborne contaminants and viruses. 

A side effect of these is that they are…chemicals!   What alternatives might be available?  

Ozone Generators | UV Light | HEPA Filters

The answers converged on me in connection with other things going on in our lives, that clicked when applying to the coronavirus:  the use of ozone generators, UV light, and HEPA filters.  

Ozone Generator

Our family uses ozone generators to keep our CPAP machines clean, mold at bay, and our cars clean and odor free (a used car dealer trick I was told years ago, when we spilled some milk on the floorboards of our then-new car).  

They supposedly eliminate over 99% of viruses, and other biological contaminants.  Lately I’ve been hearing that they are superb in making your hunting clothing odor free, an added benefit.  

Yes, they generate ozone which is harmful while the machines are running and for a short time later, however if you simply air the space out (or the piece of equipment like your CPAP machine) after running the machine, the ozone will dissipate.  

Are they effective?   I think the answer is yes. 

I’m no doctor or scientist so recommend searching the question such as “will ozone kill coronavirus?” which might answer it better for you. 

One link:
Know Your Ozone: It’s Good, Bad And Bacteria-Blasting

We use an all-purpose ozone generator machine such as this one on Amazon: 

Enerzen Commercial Ozone Generator

UV (Ultraviolet) Light

We have a UV light attachment on our central HVAC system.  It came with the installation which we had done several years ago.  

The air in the ductwork flows past the light which zaps/inactivates all sorts of viruses and biological contaminants. That said, a person can buy “bolt on” kits for their HVAC system, such as:

Whole House Uv uvc Light in Duct for HVAC Ac (Air Conditioning) Duct:
REKO Lighting R2000 Air Purifier
(view on amzn)

Skeptical?   Search the internet for “will UV kill coronavirus”?

UV light can also be used to treat water systems:

Bluonics Ultraviolet Light UV Water Sterilizer Purification for Whole House
(view on amzn)

HEPA Filters

HEPA filters have been used since the 1940s starting in military biomedical applications to prevent the spread of viral organisms and airborne bacteria.  We have used one on and off for perhaps 20 years.  However, much better ones seem available now, such as:

Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier
(Ken adds: I have this one)

Skeptical?   At the risk of sounding like a broken record, search the internet for “will HEPA kill coronavirus”!

BOTTOM LINE

– all three of these ‘clean” technologies seem to be readily available, and worth looking into.

Do you have other ideas or suggestions on “clean technologies” to fight viruses such as the coronavirus or other bad-for-you forms of biology? 

Continue reading: How To Survive Pandemic

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22 Comments

  1. Great info, thanks!
    Just got my whole house water system filters/UV changed & serviced and was looking at replacement room purifiers since the one I had in the basement recently bit the dust. A whole house UV on the air duct sounds even better. Called the guy who does my ground source/geo system servicing, he has installed a number of UV units and highly recommends them. He’s going to order one he knows will work with my system and hopes to get installed next week.
    Very timely article!

  2. Is the need for a UV water filter primarily for private wells? Is it needed in urban chlorine treated water sources?

    1. Chevy,
      Primarily yes, as you have a greater chance of getting bacteria in groundwater as opposed to a chlorinated municipal water system. That said, uv system is good backup to catch any biologics that get through.
      Reverse Osmosis even better as it removes darn near everything from the water. JMHO

    2. Health inspector here, with focus on Pools and Water Systems.
      Coronavirus is not transmitted through water, per observations from this pandemic. Viruses are readily destroyed by oxidizers like chlorine and ozone. Your water is fine but your faucet handle may be a risk if you have sick family members. Viruses are technically not alive so you can’t kill them. You can rip them apart with oxidizers or make them incapable of replicating inside a host with UV treatment.

  3. Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is an excellent choice as it is 50-80 times more active than Bleach and since our bodies produce it, we are immune.

    Hypoclorous acid is made from table salt and tap water, cheap and effective!

  4. Had to go a search Hypochlorous Acid.
    Is a weak acid that forms when chlorine is dissolved in water.

  5. I had no idea of how easy it is to install a UV light, with the ability to kill virus (36 watt & greater) in the A/C! And, how effective it can be. It kills everything, if you just make sure to get a powerful enough UV output and place enough lights.

    Beware, make sure the device uses bulbs rated for virus..as some are simply not powerful enough, and are not meant to address virus pathogens…but, mold and such.

    I just bought the best one for the money from a company, which sells nothing else. Directly, not from eBay and such.

    Even if I were not alarmed by the COVID-19, my wife will benefit from the sanitized air.

    I spent about $100 bucks for an American device with a 19″ bulb, designed for duct installation near the A/C coil. I might just get a few more of these to really do the job!

    Thank you Ken, for reminding me of these things… Remarkable I had not installed the before…

  6. In order to be exposed to a hazardous amount of ozone, as per a generator designed for residential use, you would more than likely need to do it on purpose. Ozone, O3, or activated oxygen is simply, purified air.
    The same thing produced when lightning strikes, and gives that clean, fresh air scent after a rain storm with lightning. You may also notice it’s scent around electrical equipment, such as a copy machine. You may also notice it around some outdoor power supply equipment. Also causes that ” fresh ” scent when clothes are dried on the line.
    Just my 2 scents.

    1. Ozone (O3) is a lung irritant. The more, the more irritating. It will also wilt or maybe even kill your plants if you ozone your interior without moving them out, or in another non-exposed room. After treating, the O3 will rapidly change back to O2. The half-life is pretty short. Just ventilate the room afterwards…

  7. Industrial ozone can be a lung irritant.
    Ozone produced through electrolysis for residential use is the least likely to cause irritation. If that were the case, then a lit of people would be complaining about lung irritation after a storm.
    The huge success in the sales of ozone generators attest to the fact that they are highly beneficial and safe. A residential ozone generator is designed so as to not produce an amount which would be harmful under recommended parameters of operation. Anyone can be stupid and abuse it just to try to prove otherwise. Drinking too much water is also harmful. Not good when too many electrolytes have been dispelled.
    I also tend to believe that the FDA would have caused the discontinuation of manufacture and sales of something designed for home use which produced something known to be harmful/detrimental.
    If you go into the mountains high enough to get above the smog level, you’re exposed to the same pure air which is produced through electrolysis by the ozone generator. The same thing is produced by waterfalls, as well as, to a lesser extent, by a fountain.
    Wind blowing through pine trees also produces the same thing off of the tips of the needles.
    Bogan is spot on with his recommendations!

    1. Recently occurred to me what I said. Correction: waterfalls, fountains, and wind through pine forest produce negative ions, not 03.

  8. A follow up point: Given that the CPAP mask cleaner cleans/sanitizes your CPAP mask, why would it not also do the job on your N95 mask?

    It kills or immobilizes 99.99 percent plus of bacteria and viruses, sooo…..

    Its a mini ozone generator, so seems like it would be a good, chemical free, way to get the job done.

    I’m no scientist, but am trying it.

    1. Bogan – darn good question…re the N95 mask, maybe it would work because it is “absorbent”?
      are regular cpap masks absorbent (never seen one). if they are absorbent and it works…???????????????????

    2. Bogan,
      I don’t think it would work as there is a filter that traps the virus particles. You would have to remove those trapped virus particles otherwise the mask will become clogged and unusable.
      Ozone and UV will kill them for sure, but it doesn’t remove the virus particles that are trapped.

    3. Bogan,
      Should work if ozone does in fact kill viruses, which I believe it does.
      When I worked in the nuclear complex, we carried full-faced respirators. We used alcohol wipes to clean them during the day, but not the filters. End of the day they would go in the bin to be sent out, filters removed, washed, re-filtered and checked before putting back in service.
      One thing you might look into is if Ozone will oxidize the filter media of your N95 mask. ozone is very powerful, small amounts will disintegrate rubber surgeon’s gloves in short order. don’t know what it will do to poly.

    4. Send your idea to the CDC. Seriously. It should disinfect but contact time is the key and the ozone might destroy the material of the mask.

  9. Health Inspector with experience with water treatment and pool equipment: I’m investigating myself how cPAP ozonators and portable UV lights can be used for treating delivery items and mail and food containers. I’m also concerned about the exposure at grocery stores and for store staff who are now essential first responders. Trust me when I say we need to highly respect them and ensure that they are economically supported by all of us with govt programs, like nurses and other first responders. We all need to eat. I suspect that we will be relying on deliveries for food and packages and I’m looking into methods to reduce exposure thru mailing. And since we are in an exponential growth curve of the infections world-wide (3/23/2020), I think we will be GROSSLY under supplied world-wide with ventilators for those of us who WILL get sick. Consequently, personal hygiene as a means to eliminate exposure will be critical for survival.
    Ozone and UV are both used as disinfectants, along with the heavy-hitter chlorine bleach, to keep water safe. Luckily, the virus is apparently not spread in water. The key is the combination of dose (or exposure to Ozone or UV) and contact time. That’s what I’m trying to figure out. Please post if you find out anything in these regards.
    I’m planning on simply finding an unused plastic container and set it up for sticking my CPAP ozonator tube inside and operating it for a few minutes. I think there is a automatic shut off for effective treatment for sanitizing the cpap equipment; running it twice should be enough as long as the container is not too big and the items can be in contact with the gas. I’m thinking I’ll place a wire shelf organizer to ensure the ozone contacts all of the items’ surfaces. Good luck and God Bless. Keep calm and carry on, but respond.

  10. On the hypochlorous acid comments: When you dissolve salt in water you get the salt separated into ions – Na+ and Cl-. Pool salt systems electrically activate the water when salt is dissolved to create HOCl. That is the free chlorine molecule that is also created by dissolving chlorine bleach into the pool. It’s the HOCl or free chlorine molecule that kills bacteria or destroys viruses. Salt water is salty water and I shouldn’t drink bleach.

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