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Home Air Purifiers’ Ability To Reduce Airborne COVID-19 Studied, Participants Sought

Participants are being sought for a study to determine if airborne contaminants in the homes of COVID-19 patients can be dissipated by portable air purifiers.

The study is being conducted by the Rutgers Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute.

“We believe that the high rates of transmission in homes are because people share their breathing air,” principal investigator Howard Kipen said in a press release about the study. “If we could identify cost-effective methods to protect those who live in the home with a person who has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease, we could change outcomes, particularly in smaller homes where complete isolation is impossible.”

Portable air cleaners are already well-known to substantially reduce other pollutants in household air, according to the release.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that those tested positive for COVID-19 self-isolate for 14 days. Aerosols and tiny droplets may still spread the virus, even if masks are worn, according to the release.

The CDC gives home caretakers no guidance about protection against the smaller particles and droplets that may be in the air, the release said. Currently, there is a lack of data on airborne virus concentrations in homes and ways to reduce this risk to caregivers or family members.

Researchers are interested in studying the homes of newly infected individuals less than seven days after a positive test to measure viral particles in the air, according to the release. Rutgers will test if a portable stand-alone air cleaner reduces the amount of virus in the room air.

For more information about this study, or to participate, go to http://eohsi.rutgers.edu/aircleanerscovid/ or contact the study team at researchstudy@eohsi.rutgers.edu or phone 732-535-0780.

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