21 May 2020
Condair is supporting Dr Stephanie Taylor in her petition to have the World Health Organization review the evidence related to indoor humidity and health, and set guidelines on a minimum lower limit for public buildings.
Dr Taylor is an infection control consultant at Harvard Medical School and a member of the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Group. Her petition is at www.40to60RH.com.
Tim Scott, head of sales at Condair plc, said: “We are delighted to see Dr Stephanie Taylor take the message directly to the World Health Organization that we need a minimum lower limit of indoor humidity. In order for real improvements on indoor air quality standards, we need official guidelines to reflect what the scientific and healthcare communities are telling us.
“The COVID-19 crisis shows us just how vital it is that we place management of the built environment at the very centre of disease control. Many scientific studies have demonstrated that the ideal indoor humidity level of between 40-60%RH will reduce the spread of respiratory infections. Yet no regulations exist in the UK that make this level a necessity for air treatment systems in buildings where people congregate or work.
“Even in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, care homes and GP surgeries, where infectious people come together with the most vulnerable, there is no requirement to maintain air humidity at a level that has been shown to be an effective infection control mechanism.” Tim continues.
“Condair is committed to making interiors a safer place and we have been exploring and sharing the science behind the health benefits of 40-60%RH for years. I hope Dr Taylor’s petition gets the attention it deserves at the WHO and that they produce an IAQ guideline on a minimum lower limit of humidity. This would encourage regulators around the world to review and update their currently inadequate IAQ standards. A simple change that could reduce the burden on society from seasonal respiratory illnesses, such as the flu, save lives, reduce absenteeism, and hugely benefit our economy and our nation’s health.
“I’ve signed this petition and I encourage everyone else to do the same.”
The petition has also been supported by leading figures in the scientific and healthcare community. This includes a leading immunobiologist from Yale University, Prof Dr Akiko Iwasaki, and Professor and Director of the Institute of Neuropathology at the University of Zurich, Prof Dr Adriano Aguzzi.