COVID-19: Aerosol Treatment Devices & Ozone Disinfection Webinar
About the Webinar
Originally presented August 12, 2021
Reducing the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, relies on effective cleaning and disinfection, along with public health strategies like testing and social distancing. Recent studies have indicated that exposure to aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 can facilitate the spread of COVID-19. As indoor environments (e.g., schools, businesses, mass transit) continue to repopulate, more attention is being focused on technologies that claim to reduce or eliminate virus transmission via aerosols while operating safely in occupied spaces. Current limitations on data availability and test design prohibit comprehensive evaluation of how effective different types of technologies will be in reducing concentrations of viruses and other airborne pathogens in real-world settings.
EPA researchers are evaluating the efficacy of different types of aerosol treatment technologies in reducing airborne concentrations using a large-scale test chamber and a standardized testing approach. Conducting this research at a sufficiently large-scale with a recirculating HVAC system provides EPA and the public with an independent source of efficacy information that can be more reliably translated to real-world settings. Researchers are establishing protocols for evaluating efficacy of aerosol treatment products to help facilitate cross-technology comparisons.
Additionally, alternative methods that supplement regular cleaning and disinfection are being investigated by EPA researchers for their use in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Ozone fumigation has been identified as a potential method for disinfection of surfaces contaminated with SARS-CoV-2. This webinar will discuss results from evaluating the efficacy of such methods and real-world application.
About the Presenters
Dr. Katherine Ratliff is a Research Physical Scientist in ORD’s Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response. Her current research is focused on understanding and quantifying how contaminants move around in the environment, as well as predicting the efficacy of different decontamination and disinfection practices in complex settings. She is achieving these research goals by developing models that are informed by advanced data collection (in the lab and field settings) and analysis techniques. Dr. Ratliff received her B.A. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. in Earth and Ocean Sciences from Duke University.
Dr. Lukas Oudejans is a Research Physical Scientist with ORD’s Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response. Over the past twelve years, he has gained vast experience in homeland security programs related to research, development and evaluation of innovative technologies for the decontamination of materials contaminated with chemical or biological agents. Currently, he is leading research efforts to assess alternative disinfection technologies like UV light, ozone and steam to clean surfaces contaminated with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Dr. Oudejans holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Physics from Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.