Modeling SARS-CoV-2 Aerosols and Evaluating Ways to Inactivate Aerosolized SARS-CoV-2
EPA researchers are studying SARS-CoV-2 aerosols including fate and transport in an office environment, in a mass transit setting, and evaluating potential aerosol disinfection device technologies in various scenarios.
Modeling Transport of Viral Aerosols in an Office Setting
EPA researchers are studying indoor air pathways to determine whether exhaled aerosols spread over distance in an office environment. The focus of this work will be on an "open office" or a cubicle work environment where there is concern about the potential for direct movement of aerosols from an infected (though likely asymptomatic) "source" individual to the breathing zones of individuals at other workstations. EPA's research will first seek to determine baseline levels of exposure from aerosol transport and then test the impact of practical office modifications that could potentially reduce viral exposure.
Modeling Transport of Viral Aerosols in a Mass Transit Setting
EPA researchers are participating in a study led by researchers at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science &Technology and New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority (NYC MTA) that will assess the behavior of aerosols in buses and subway train cars. This field assessment and modelling effort is investigating the impact of ventilation on reducing aerosolized virus in enclosed or semi-enclosed environments.
Evaluating Pesticide Devices and Products to Inactivate Aerosolized Virus and Reduce Potential Transmission
Technologies that are safe to operate in occupied spaces and reduce the amount of SARS-CoV-2 in the air could potentially reduce airborne transmission of COVID-19. EPA researchers will assess how effective different devices and product technologies are in reducing airborne virus concentrations in indoor environments. The general classes of devices and products under consideration include UV-C devices, chemical-based devices and products, and physical removal devices. EPA researchers are building on a foundation of research on SARS-CoV-2 surface disinfection in mass transit settings, working collaboratively with NYC MTA and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (LA Metro).