September 23, 2023


Healthy Life

Easy Corsi-Rosenthal packing containers will help cut back publicity to indoor air pollution

4 min read

A staff of researchers from Brown College’s Faculty of Public Well being, Brown’s Faculty of Engineering and Silent Spring Institute discovered that straightforward air filtration units referred to as Corsi-Rosenthal packing containers are efficient at lowering indoor air pollution.

The examine, which analyzed the effectiveness of Corsi-Rosenthal packing containers put in on the Faculty of Public Well being to assist forestall the unfold of COVID-19, is the primary peer-reviewed examine of the efficacy of the packing containers on indoor pollution, based on the authors.

Decreasing indoor air concentrations of commonly-found chemical compounds identified to pose a threat to human well being is a manner to enhance occupant well being, based on lead creator Joseph Braun, an affiliate professor of epidemiology at Brown.

The findings present that a reasonable, easy-to-construct air filter can defend towards sickness brought on not solely by viruses but additionally by chemical pollution. The sort of highly-accessible public well being intervention can empower neighborhood teams to take steps to enhance their air high quality and due to this fact, their well being.”

Joseph Braun, Affiliate Professor of Epidemiology, Brown College

Corsi-Rosenthal packing containers, or cubes, could be constructed from supplies discovered at {hardware} shops: 4 MERV-13 filters, duct tape, a 20-inch field fan and a cardboard field. As a part of a school-wide mission, packing containers had been assembled by college students and campus neighborhood members and put in within the Faculty of Public Well being in addition to different buildings on the Brown College campus.

To evaluate the cubes’ efficacy at eradicating chemical compounds from the air, Braun and his staff in contrast a room’s concentrations of semi-volatile natural compounds earlier than and throughout the field’s operation.

The outcomes, printed in Environmental Science & Know-how, confirmed that Corsi-Rosenthal packing containers considerably decreased the concentrations of a number of PFAS and phthalates in 17 rooms on the Faculty of Public Well being throughout the interval they had been used (February to March 2022). PFAS, a kind of artificial chemical present in a spread of merchandise together with cleaners, textiles and wire insulation, decreased by 40% to 60%; phthalates, generally present in constructing supplies and private care merchandise, had been decreased by 30% to 60%.

PFAS and phthalates have been linked to numerous well being issues, together with bronchial asthma, decreased vaccine response, decreased start weight, altered mind improvement in youngsters, altered metabolism and a few cancers, mentioned Braun, who research the impact of those chemical compounds on human well being. They’re additionally thought of to be endocrine-disrupting chemical compounds that will mimic or intrude with the physique’s hormones. What’s extra, PFAS have been related to decreased vaccine response in youngsters and in addition could enhance the severity of and susceptibility to COVID-19 in adults.

“The discount of PFAS and phthalate ranges is an excellent co-benefit to the Corsi-Rosenthal packing containers,” mentioned examine co-author Robin Dodson, a analysis scientist at Silent Spring Institute and knowledgeable in chemical exposures within the indoor setting.. “These packing containers are accessible, simple to make and comparatively cheap, they usually’re at the moment being utilized in universities and houses throughout the nation.”

“The Corsi-Rosenthal field was designed to be a easy, cost-effective software to advertise accessible and efficient air cleansing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic; the truth that the packing containers are additionally efficient at filtering out air pollution is a incredible discovery,” mentioned Richard Corsi, one of many inventors of the packing containers and dean of the School of Engineering on the College of California, Davis. “I’m thrilled that researchers at Brown College and Silent Spring Institute have recognized a major co-benefit of the packing containers with respect to decreased publicity to 2 dangerous lessons of indoor pollution: PFAS and phthalates.

The sentiment was echoed by Jim Rosenthal, Corsi’s collaborator and CEO of Air Aid Applied sciences, the corporate that manufactures the MERV-13 filters utilized in Corsi-Rosenthal Containers.

“This attention-grabbing analysis displaying that the air filters not solely cut back particles carrying the SARS-CoV-2 virus but additionally cut back different indoor air pollution may very well be very important as we proceed to work to create cleaner and safer indoor air,” Rosenthal mentioned.

The researchers additionally discovered that the Corsi-Rosenthal packing containers enhance sound ranges by a median of 5 decibels throughout the day and 10 decibels at night time, which may very well be thought of distracting in sure settings, corresponding to lecture rooms. Nevertheless, Braun mentioned, the well being advantages of the field seemingly outweigh the audio unwanted side effects.

“The field filters do make some noise,” Braun mentioned. “However you may assemble them rapidly for about $100 per unit, with supplies from the ironmongery store. They aren’t solely extremely efficient but additionally scalable.”

Brown examine authors embody Kate Manz and Kurt Pennell from the Faculty of Engineering, and Jamie Liu, Shaunessey Burks and Richa Gairola from the Faculty of Public Well being. This analysis was supported by the Nationwide Science Basis and the Nationwide Institute of Environmental Well being Sciences.


Journal reference:

Dodson, R.E., et al. (2022) Does Utilizing Corsi-Rosenthal Containers to Mitigate COVID-19 Transmission Additionally Scale back Indoor Air Concentrations of PFAS and Phthalates?. Environmental Science & Know-how.

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