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50 Euro per Person and Year for Air Purifiers in Classrooms Would Be Sufficient

Researchers from Goethe University and the University of Mannheim have developed a calculator for air purifiers / Online calculation tool helps in comparing mobile air filters

During the pandemic, air purifies can play a crucial role when it comes to permanent in-person teaching at schools after the summer break. Mobile air purifiers contribute significantly to reducing the concentration of aerosols in the air, the main transmitters of SARS-CoV-2. However, searching for a suitable device is often difficult: There are many devices on the market. Critics also say that many of them are too loud, too expensive or ineffective. Prof. Dr. Anna Rohlfing-Bastian, Professor of Accounting at Goethe University and Dr. Gunther Glenk, researcher at the University of Mannheim, now have developed a calculator to facilitate searching for suitable and cost-effective devices.

Users of the user-friendly calculation tool can determine different parameters such as room dimensions, persons in the room, duration of the stay and activities of the persons in the room (remaining silent, talking or singing causes different aerosol emissions). Entering a maximal decibel value is also possible. The tool calculates the costs for equipping a room with cost-effective mobile air purifiers and the corresponding costs per person and year, while taking the maximum tolerable infection risk into account.

“For about 50 Euro per person and year, an elementary school should be able to buy air purifiers”, summarizes Dr. Gunther Glenk the results of the study. Glenk is Assistant Professor at the Mannheim Institute for Sustainable Energy Studies (MISES) of the University of Mannheim. “The summer break can now be used to buy mobile air purifiers on a large scale”, says the economist. If every person in the room wears a mask, this reduces the costs by half. Another advantage is that such purifiers are not only helpful during the pandemic but also help to protect against other viruses, such as influenza and against air pollution.