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Lancet COVID-19 Commission – new ventilation and filtration standards required

Proposed Non-infectious Air Delivery Rates (NADR) for Reducing Exposure to Airborne Respiratory Infectious Diseases November 2022 – “Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS- CoV-2) and other respiratory pathogens are effectively transmitted through the inhalation exposure route indoors, mostly in places with inadequate ventilation and filtration. Current building standards, however, promote bare-minimum ventilation and filtration targets that do not protect against infectious disease transmission. There is urgency in setting new minimum standards that can help reduce respiratory disease risk indoors and promote better health overall. Yet, to date, leading organizations have not established clear health-based targets for use outside of healthcare settings. There also remains significant confusion regarding which metric to use (volumetric flow rate of air per volume of the room, per person, or per floor area). The important scientific debates about metrics and targets must continue. However, while there is debate about the “best” metric to use, and there is debate about the specific targets for each, there is no debate that the current targets are too low. To advance this conversation around health-based ventilation targets for airborne respiratory pathogens, the Lancet COVID-19 Commission Task Force on Safe Work, Safe School, and Safe Travel reviewed the scientific evidence around ventilation and disease transmission for SARS-CoV-2 and other airborne pathogens. We found that when we look at the totality of evidence – and despite differences across studies, experts, and metrics – there is coalescence around ventilation targets above current minimums…”

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