Using Indoor CO2 Levels, Find Out How Much People’s Breath–Virus–You Breathe In

Using indoor CO2 levels to find out how much of other people’s breath (virus) you breathe in: 1 of 2 // Feb 12, 2021

Is it possible to crush coronavirus like a bug? Without devastating lockdowns? Yes, we are all hoping for vaccines, and ones that work for the new strains that are more transmissible. In this video and the next, I make the case for widespread installation of carbon dioxide monitors in all indoor public spaces. We have smoke detectors to warn us and keep us safe from fires. We have carbon monoxide detectors to keep us safe from harm from incomplete combustion heating systems.

We put chemicals that smell like rotten eggs into natural gas to keep us safe from leaks. Now, to fight coronavirus, and all other airborne virus like Spanish flu, SARS, and MERS, and future viruses we need to measure indoor air quality and ventilation. Carbon dioxide is a perfect proxy for real-time measurement of the virus. Outside, virus transmission is extremely low, almost nonexistent with social distancing, and CO2 levels are about 420 ppm (parts per million), on average.

We need to put carbon dioxide monitors inside all schools, long-term care homes, restaurants, stores (i.e. all public spaces) to avoid cyclical lockdowns. If indoor CO2 concentration levels are close to external, say 400 to 600 ppm, the coronavirus transmission risk is extremely low. If they are about 800 ppm, or even higher the transmission risk is much higher. Open windows, ventilate; otherwise clear people out of the room.

At 800 ppm, the rebreathe factor means that 1% of the air you breathe is air that somebody else in the room exhaled. Many public spaces, like schools are often 1000, 2000, even 5000 ppm, and any virus particles in that space will circulate in the air for many hours, even after people have left the room. Perfect for spreading. Measure carbon dioxide as a proxy for real-time virus risk monitoring. Train medical doctors and virologists and engineers on how vital this is. It really is this simple.

Ref 1:  ‘With its five wall-length windows, Nick Crandall’s restaurant, Railroad Pub & Pizza, can bring in a lot of outside air. In late December, though, Washington state regulators said the restaurant could not qualify as “outdoor” dining, and would have to close because of heightened coronavirus restrictions.

‘So Crandall went to Facebook to protest, giving a video tour of the Burlington, Wash., pub and its vast, garage-door-style windows. “I’m just kind of curious on what the science is for outdoor dining, how much airflow you need to do,” he said. He took aim at the state’s Democratic governor, Jay Inslee, suggesting he use “common sense.” The video was viewed over 73,000 times‘.  Article continue here:  The coronavirus is airborne, The coronavirus is airborne. Here’s how to know if you’re breathing other people’s breath, By Chris Mooney.  Feb. 10, 2021 at 5:26 a.m. PST
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How much in “Every breath you take” indoors is from somebody else’s previous breaths? 2 of 2 // Feb 12, 2021

Is it possible to crush coronavirus like a bug? Without devastating lockdowns?

Yes, we are all hoping for vaccines, and ones that work for the new strains that are more transmissible.

In this video and the previous one, I make the case for widespread installation of carbon dioxide monitors in all indoor public spaces.

We have smoke detectors to warn us and keep us safe from fires. We have carbon monoxide detectors to keep us safe from harm from incomplete combustion heating systems. We put chemicals that smell like rotten eggs into natural gas to keep us safe from leaks. Now, to fight coronavirus, and all other airborne virus like Spanish flu, SARS, and MERS, and future viruses we need to measure indoor air quality and ventilation.

Carbon dioxide is a perfect proxy for real-time measurement of the virus. Outside, virus transmission is extremely low, almost nonexistent with social distancing, and CO2 levels are about 420 ppm (parts per million), on average. We need to put carbon dioxide monitors inside all schools, long-term care homes, restaurants, stores (i.e. all public spaces) to avoid cyclical lockdowns.

If indoor CO2 concentration levels are close to external, say 400 to 600 ppm, the coronavirus transmission risk is extremely low. If they are about 800 ppm, or even higher the transmission risk is much higher. Open windows, ventilate; otherwise clear people out of the room. At 800 ppm, the rebreathe factor means that 1% of the air you breathe is air that somebody else in the room exhaled.

Many public spaces, like schools are often 1000, 2000, even 5000 ppm, and any virus particles in that space will circulate in the air for many hours, even after people have left the room. Perfect for spreading.

Measure carbon dioxide as a proxy for real-time virus risk monitoring.
Train medical doctors and virologists and engineers on how vital this is.
It really is this simple.

Ref 2:  ‘At a recent live pop concert in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, the large screen set up at the edge of the stage didn’t give the audience a close-up view of the idol or any other eye-catching visual.  Instead, it changed colors to show the carbon dioxide (CO2) level in the air, in an unconventional effort to contain the spread of COVID-19‘.  Article continues at link:

Screens Showing CO2 Level Set Up at Venues to Lessen Virus Risk
By Ryosuke Nonaka:

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About paulbeckwith

Well known climate science educator; Part-time Geography professor (climatology, oceanography, environmental issues), University of Ottawa. Physicist. Engineer. Master's Degree in Science in Laser Optics, Bachelors of Engineering, in Engineering Physics. Won Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario gold medal. Also interested in investment and start-ups in climate solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Avid chess player, and likes restoring old homes. Married with children.
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