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IAQ and Covid-19: flaws and shortcomings of the new stakes of the Capability Decree

What are the new directives for confined spaces

What are the new directives for confined spaces

Nearly two months have passed since the approval of the Capability Decree (DL 139/2021), which requires venues to use a ventilation system without recirculation and systems equipped with HEPA filters as one of the prerogatives for the resumption of indoor activities.

These are the tools required for dance halls, discos and indoor venues to ensure, according to the DL, a level of indoor air quality capable of reducing the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the air.

In addition to these obligations, there is a capacity limitation of no more than 50 % of the maximum authorised capacity, the obligation to show the green pass at the entrance and the use of personal protective equipment.

How HEPA filters and circulating air systems work

How HEPA filters and circulating air systems work

Divided into 5 classes according to their filtration efficiency, from H10 to H14, HEPA filters are located inside air purifiers and, together with the fan, essentially make up their internal structure. HEPA filters (High Efficiency Particulate Air filter) must comply with EN 1822:2019.

Ventilation systems without recirculation are used by rooms where there is a real risk of high contamination and the air inside must not be reused to ensure greater safety. In fact, their operation requires that all air is taken from outside.

Immune defences and the external environment

Why the new standards are not sufficient to guarantee safety

Immune defences and the external environment

Why the new standards are not sufficient to guarantee safety

There is one major limitation to these new provisions for premises, and that is the lack of precise guidelines for surface cleaning that go hand in hand with those for ventilation systems.

The level of indoor air quality cannot be improved by air-purifying systems alone if the surfaces where dirt and micro-dust accumulate are not properly cleaned and sanitised.

Without the adoption of a central vacuum system there is a serious risk of doing a half-assed job that can never really guarantee the safety of the visitors to indoor premises.

Only the use of a central vacuum system guarantees that 100% of the dirt, micro-dust, viruses and bacteria are expelled outside, thus making a real difference to indoor air quality. This allows safe and therefore open rooms.

The health blog