Air Filter Box Introduces Innovative Technique to Trap Viruses

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Homemade indoor air filters can trap and remove 99% of airborne viruses.

Researchers from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an advanced bioaerosol chamber testing to evaluate the efficiency and power of the Corsi-Rosenthal box (CR box). The results found that the homemade box, made of air filters, is 99% effective in removing airborne viruses.

The CR box can be built at home by any individual within 30 minutes by using indoor air filters and $60 worth of common tools and supplies found in a hardware store. The original box was created by Richard Corsi, PhD, an engineer at the University of California-Davis, and Jim Rosenthal, CEO of Texas-based company Tex-Air Filters.

The press release noted that prior to the bioaerosol chamber testing, researchers from the EPA tested more expensive air cleaning methods that were used during the pandemic.

The specific CR box that was tested by the EPA was created by a 9-year-old and her 5th grade classmates, along with associates of the Uconn Indoor Air Quality Initiative.

The team at Unconn has generated and donated over 100 CR boxes to the community in Connecticut, including public schools, to fight off COVID-19 while testing the power of homemade air cleaners.

A month before working with the students from Macdonough Elementary School in Connecticut, the associates from Uconn Health donated a total of 150 CR boxes to individuals in communities that are exposed to wildfire smoke particles in the air. According to the press release, Uconn has also donated materials and lesson plans to Connecticut teachers that could create 100 air filters to protect themselves and their students during cold and flu season.

The box was examined for several weeks in advanced bioaerosol chamber testing by the team of researchers from the EPA, who found promising results. The results found that the CR box removed 97% of infectious aerosols in a 30-minute period and 99.4% in a 60-minute period.

“The study results are extremely exciting,” said Katherine Ratliff, PhD, EPA scientist, in a press release. “These CR boxes really work. The Corsi-Rosenthal box works against infectious aerosols in the air. The results are really powerful. Three different sets of biochamber testing data show that these air filters reduce the amount of infectious virus in the air and capture both smaller and larger sized particles. CR boxes are more effective at reducing concentrations of infectious aerosols in indoor air than some of the more expensive technologies that we tested.”

The researchers also reported that the CR box is able to seize a surrogate virus for SARS-CoV-2.

“These scientific results are huge!” said Marina Creed, APRN, director of the UConn Indoor Air Quality Initiative, in a press release. “These inexpensive, do-it-yourself air filters are for everyone. If you put this in your home, it will remove infectious germs that cause disease from the air. Schools, students, and teachers if you run one of these inside your classrooms it can reduce your exposure to viruses and bacteria, reducing the risk of disease transmission, meaning you are less likely to get sick.”

Reference

EPA testing shows the power of D-I-Y air filters to trap viruses. EurekAlert!. News release. October 30, 2023. Accessed November 9, 2023. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/1005893.

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