This Air Purifier That Kills 99.999% Of Airborne COVID-19 Is A Game-Changer

While the COVID-19 vaccine is now available to almost everyone, this still doesn't mean we're all out of the woods as far as the pandemic is concerned. There are still plenty of people who either refuse to get the vaccine or are unable to be vaccinated for whatever reason, plus there's also the fact that we don't have any guarantees as to exactly how long our vaccinations will last or how effective they're likely to be against new strains of the virus.

While there's no need to panic or despair, it's still in everyone's best interest to continue to take certain precautions even after being vaccinated. We may have to keep wearing masks when we're in close proximity to non-bubble members for some time to come, and many of us may still be somewhat wary to venture out into a crowd, come what may.

One new invention that may help reduce the risk of virus transmission is an air purifier designed specifically for trapping and eliminating airborne COVID virus particles. Dr. Garrett Peel, who co-founded a company called Integrated Viral Protection spoke with The List about his company's product and how they think it can help to prevent the spread of this potentially deadly disease.

How IVP works to fight COVID

The particular product developed by Peel's company is called the Integrated Viral Protection (IVP) Biodefense Indoor Air Protection System. Peel explains that while other air filters catch spores, the IVPBIAPS (if we can call it that rather than typing out that whole long name again) augments its filter with a heated metal mesh membrane. This technology, he explains, means the system can "catch and kill Covid-19 ... [and] other airborne viruses and air pollutants instantaneously in a single pass without heating ambient air."

Peel's claim that the system is 99.999% effective against the COVID virus is, as he tells us, backed up by research performed at the University of Houston's Texas Center for Superconductivity, the Galveston National Laboratory, and the University of Texas A&M's Engineering and Experiment Station. The system, he says, has FDA approval. Further, Integrated Viral Protection's data sheet, about the product, supports Peel's assertion that IVP is "the only technology [able] to catch and kill Covid-19 and other airborne pathogens instantaneously in a single pass."

The company received an Award of Excellence from Engineering News Record, the publication calling it a "novel virus-killing air filter [that] ups [the] standard for indoor air quality," and Business Wire reports that they also received a 2020 Emerging Technology award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

What makes IVP such an effective COVID-killer?

Peel tells us that other air filtering technologies including HEPA, UV, PECO, and oxidative technologies also claim to be able to mitigate airborne COVID transmission, but he notes that they are not able to do so instantaneously as his product can. "These options are expensive and require a larger exposure time in order to be effective," he says, explaining that this "causes more of a risk when circulating air." IVP technology, however, is something he says has been "proven to kill airborne pathogens instantaneously in a single pass." What's more, it can be installed into pre-existing HVAC systems rather than replacing them and is also able to be deployed via mobile units. 

Another point in IVP's favor, Peel notes, is that it actually does kill the COVID virus rather than simply trapping it. "Most filters simply catch viruses without killing them," he tells us, adding that "after time, [this] releases them back into the air flow."

How IVP is being used for virus protection

As we're all aware by now, the primary method by which COVID-19 spreads from person to person is by airborne transmission. One scary thing that may not have occurred to us as we return to workplaces, schools, and other indoor settings is that the virus may well be traveling through air ducts and ventilation systems. This means you could potentially be exposed to the germs of someone on an entirely different floor of the building you're in! (So much for the 6-foot safety zone.)

Peel feels that virus-killing technology is absolutely necessary in order to make public areas and buildings as virus-proof as possible. The technology provided by IVP, he says, can "target ... air transmission to eliminate the virus, disinfect the air, and reduce a building's reliance on an outside air mix."

The IVP system is already being put to good use. Peel says it's been deployed in schools, office buildings, medical facilities, assisted living centers, hotels, restaurants, and other locations where people congregate in large numbers risking viral infection. Even when (if) we ever do reach herd immunity to the point where COVID-19 itself no longer poses much of a threat, Peel points out that the IVP technology will still help to combat future airborne illnesses, including the seasonal flu outbreaks that happen every year. As Peel puts it, "We must invest in the future of clean air technology to avoid shutting the world down again because of an airborne virus."