Posted 3 февраля 2022, 08:53

Published 3 февраля 2022, 08:53

Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:38

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Breathing the air without the risk of dying: what the global coronavirus pandemic have taught people

3 февраля 2022, 08:53
Фото: Новые Известия
February 2022 will mark exactly two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the world. Since then, not only masks, sanitizers, gloves, vaccines and immune protection products have become familiar, but also a whole family of household and medical devices that fight to clean the air from viruses and bacteria.
Сюжет
Pandemic

Yelena Ivanova, Natalia Seibil

UV AIR RECIRCULATORS AND BACTERICIDAL LAMPS: HOW THEY FIGHT VIRUSES AND BACTERIA

It's worth reminding that two years ago, only those who saw blue lamps in hospitals and maternity hospitals knew about anti-virus and bacterial air purification. But already in polyclinics there were practically no such devices, except that they were bought in the most expensive paid hospitals, and even then more for image purposes. However, the coronavirus pandemic has forced humanity to take a closer look at the method of protection tested by doctors and time.

Today, in the office of any metropolitan doctor who receives patients, there is a UV recirculator, which, according to doctors, allows you not to be afraid of close communication with visitors. And the point here is not in advertising new technology, but in the features of the coronavirus itself.

"The fact is that DNA molecules - the material of which genes are composed - very easily absorb ultraviolet rays. The energy that photons share with DNA sets off photochemical reactions that destroy these molecules. The genetic material of pathogenic viruses and microbes is affected by ultraviolet light in much the same way as people who get burns and skin cancer from too much sun exposure, only much stronger. After all, representatives of our species are protected by thick skin, while viruses and bacteria have only thin shells or cell walls", - explains the mechanism of action of ultraviolet radiation medical journalist Daniil Davydov.

Thus, ultraviolet is the first enemy of viruses, including COVID-19. Doctors are well aware that operating rooms of modern maternity hospitals, where 100% sterility is required, are equipped with ultraviolet guns. With their help, the operating room becomes completely safe for women in labor in just a few minutes. That is why well-known doctors and biologists recommend introducing UV-air purifiers (recirculators) everywhere.

One of these "lights of science" - Ancha Baranova - Doctor of Biological Sciences, Chief Researcher of the Laboratory of Functional Genomics of the Medical Genetic Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow), Professor of the School of Systems Biology at George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia, USA).

Ancha Baranova knows everything about the coronavirus, as well as how to deal with it.Ancha Baranova knows everything about the coronavirus, as well as how to deal with it.
Ancha Baranova knows everything about the coronavirus, as well as how to deal with it.

"The virus can be thought of as a box of Chinese food. Ultraviolet damages the protein and slightly opens this box. Proteins maintain a certain shape. The virus has an almost geometric shape plus a lipid shell. When the form collapses, changes, the box opens slightly. And there, inside the virus is not DNA, but RNA. RNA is a terribly unstable polymer. It itself falls apart easily in the air, on any surface. Drying just kills this virus", - in an interview with "Novye Izvestia" says Ancha Baranova.

According to Anchi Baranova, a home recirculator with an ultraviolet lamp is a simple and inexpensive device. It is important that the correct lamp is installed. Ultraviolet must be used carefully, it can generate ozone. This is such a gas with the smell of freshness after a thunderstorm. But the "pleasantness" of ozone is deceptive - it is a poisonous gas. And it is desirable that a person does not inhale this gas.

In "normal" recirculators, so-called. ozone-free lamps, the bulb of which is made of uviol glass. Such glass transmits lossless UV with a wavelength of 254 nm, i.e. the most "deadly" wavelength for RNA. And completely delays wavelengths below 200 nm, which means that ozone is practically not formed.

Anchi herself has two household air recirculators in the American house. It turned out to be much cheaper to buy free-standing devices than to mount a UV unit in the supply ventilation system (in the USA this is now a common service, but it costs about two thousand dollars).

And how are things in Russia? Is there any chance to get reliable UV recirculators?

THE PANDEMIC GENERATED A NEW INDUSTRY - THE PRODUCTION OF UV AIR RECIRCULATORS

Contrary to the "bad" stereotypes about the sluggishness of our industry, it turned out that today in Russia 103 (!) enterprises produce equipment for the air purification. Their locations are almost in each federal district.

Of course, not all 103 manufacturers are equally good and produce uniquely high-quality goods.

The product range includes different types of germicidal devices - mobile, wall-mounted, industrial, automotive, specially designed elevators, for large offices...

Car air recirculator suitable for minibuses and taxis.Car air recirculator suitable for minibuses and taxis.
Car air recirculator suitable for minibuses and taxis.
A typical household air recirculator for an apartment.A typical household air recirculator for an apartment.
A typical household air recirculator for an apartment.
Фото: Новые Известия

"Our institute is an expert in this area, and it evaluates the effectiveness of disinfection, and I can say that there are much more applications for testing. Those devices that were previously evaluated for staphylococcus aureus are now offered to be evaluated for coronavirus. And I can say for sure that UV recirculators fight covid even faster and more efficiently than other infections", - says Lyudmila Fyodorova, the head of the laboratory for problems of disinfection and sterilization of the Institute of Disinfectology of Rospotrebnadzor.

Analysts of one of the companies gave an assessment of the Russian market of devices for air disinfection, having studied the demand from corporate customers for air recirculators in the period from 01/01/2019 to 11/01/2020.

It turned out that the number of requests for devices for disinfection increased almost 12 times (from 42 to 490 thousand), and among the leaders in the purchase of equipment there were companies in the beauty industry, catering (restaurants, cafes) and preschool institutions. The peak of demand for air recirculators was noticed in March-June 2020, however, with the onset of the second wave of the pandemic, it began to grow again.

Moreover, the production of devices was launched not only by those who have expertise in the development of devices, but also by businesses that are completely far from this. For example, a coal company, a mechanical plant, and even a company that provides logistics and customs clearance services.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, according to our observations, the attitude of business towards disinfection and hygiene has changed a lot. So, for example, in the first wave, the main incentive for the purchase of air recirculators was the requirements of Rospotrebnadzor, and in the second, an increasing number of entrepreneurs are driven by the desire to reduce the number of sick people”, - said Alexander Dolgov, the co-owner of the company.

There are no exact data for 2021 yet. But the manufacturers themselves say that with the advent of the fifth wave of coronavirus and the new Omicron strain, the demand for UV recirculators significantly exceeds 2020 data.

"Recirculators are becoming the same familiar household appliances as irons, vacuum cleaners, televisions or ironing boards. And we see that the leading marketplaces and online stores are rapidly increasing sales", - Svetlana Klokova, a marketer, says in an interview with "Novye Izvestia".

According to Ms. Klokova, interest in UV recirculators is fueled by people's natural concern for their neighbors. At first, under fear of contracting the coronavirus, you buy a device for yourself, then for mom and dad or children, and then expand the circle to friends and colleagues. Many customers order appliances for themselves after seeing them in their offices. It is no coincidence that antiviral air purifiers have become very popular gifts for the New Year, 2022. And it's better than giving the same useless souvenirs for the tenth time.

Marketers also note the fact that people who are accustomed to recirculators at work and at home are beginning to demand the presence of these devices in service and catering establishments. For example, they stop going to beauty salons where they do not care about air quality and, on the contrary, visit those places where they are.

The popularity of UV recirculators is also increased by a very wide range and range of prices - from the most budget options of 2-3 thousand rubles to prestigious devices costing tens and hundreds of thousands of rubles.

By the way, Sberbank can be called the leader in spending on recirculators, whose robot-disinfector is recognized by Rospatent as an “invention of 2021”.

The robot can independently navigate in space, memorize movement routes, assess the degree of contamination of surfaces and the duration of disinfection.

WHAT PREVENTS THE ADVANCE OF UV RECIRCULATORS

However, the victorious march of new devices for bactericidal air purification is not complete without the "pits and potholes".

If recirculators have proved their usefulness throughout the civilized world, then why are they not available, for example, in Russian Post offices? Why are they not even in many pharmacies and drugstores, grocery stores, banks? But the post office, banks, grocery stores are often visited by elderly people aged 65+, who are susceptible to infection with the coronovirus with the most serious consequences! And after all, not healthy citizens go to pharmacies at all, but those who have already felt the symptoms of trouble!

Experts believe that the cause of the problems is the ambiguous interpretation of the documents of Rospotrebnadzor. On the one hand, there is a clear requirement, this is SanPIN, in fact - the law. On the other hand, lately they have not been punished at all for the lack of air disinfection. And this is how a person works - there is no punishment - you can not do it. Yes, there is clearly a lack of propaganda. It’s only the lazy who don’t talk about masks and vaccination, we hear calls “from every iron”. But even though more people began to know about recirculators, this is not enough for the general "mastery of the masses".

"I believe that there should be a campaign to install recirculators in public places, which are located in small spaces. Small shops, pharmacies in the basement... The smaller the room, the more mandatory the installation of a recirculator is", - says Anchi Baranova.

"In shops like Auchan, this is not necessary - there, thanks to ventilation, the air goes up. But the booths at the polling stations... I saw it and got scared! This is such an "infection"! A recirculator must be installed in each booth. Or the hairdressers where I stopped going. Many beauty salons have installed plastic partitions. It turns out that as soon as the virus appeared there, it became a “device for infecting people”. There is a need to place a recirculator..."

In a word, it is necessary to accustom both business and government agencies to the fact that air purification costs are the same expenses as fire safety, electrical safety, etc. Only in such a paradigm will we be able to defeat the coronavirus, experts are sure.

Open germicidal lamp in the sauna became the cause of burns for the whole family.Open germicidal lamp in the sauna became the cause of burns for the whole family.
Open germicidal lamp in the sauna became the cause of burns for the whole family.
Фото: НТВ

SAT UNDER A LAMP - GET A BURN: HOW IT'S INCORRECT TO "TAKE CARE" OF AIR PURITY

Like any mass hobby, cleaning the air of viruses and bacteria can be harmful if you use the devices without reading the instructions and without understanding exactly how they work.

Every year on January 6, a family from Noyabrsk traditionally goes to the bathhouse. This year, sisters Ekaterina and Olga also decided to celebrate their father's birthday with their relatives in the sauna.

Photographs taken for the family archive from the sauna, where the family spent five hours, show the lamp on. The townspeople did not know that the device was a germicidal ultraviolet emitter. As a result, adults and small children received burns of the skin, conjunctiva and corneas of the eyes. In the morning it doctors confirmed private clinic and trauma center of the city hospital.

It turned out that the owners of the sauna did not know that UV emitters with open lamps are turned on only for a while and only in the absence of people. This is essentially a hospital device that disinfects the premises.

It is not recommended to buy such equipment at home or put it in the office.

The conclusion is simple: UV radiation in recirculators works exclusively inside the device case and does not go outside. Such devices are effective and safe.

Famous blogger Alexey Nadezhin says that now recirculators are installed in transport, in many cities they are even installed in buses, and in shops, and in other public places:

"But, as with any novelty, there are many stupid things and mistakes. They sent me a picture of a bus from a small town, in which there is a recirculator with blue LEDs, which in no way affect the virus. Someone sold it to them. The second problem is that it is impossible to understand whether the device works or does not work. The fact that it shines with a purple light from the inside does not mean at all that it kills viruses. Lamps are different: there are good ones, and there are fake ones that look exactly the same, but do not work".

The danger of running into a Chinese fake, where instead of the required lamp of a strictly defined range, an ordinary "bluish" light bulb or a low-power LED is supplied, really exists. But here, experts advise buyers to carefully study reviews of certain devices, go to manufacturers' websites, where there should be a detailed description of the devices produced.

This, of course, takes time and some effort. But taking care of your own health, as a rule, pays off the costs.

WHAT ELSE DO THE UV RECIRCULATORS KILL

The coronavirus pandemic will sooner or later end, does it mean that the UV recirculators will no longer be needed? This is a question many people ask before buying a device.

There is an answer. And it is that new devices will not be useless. Because they fight the entire spectrum of harmful organisms that live in our homes - from fungi and mold to influenza and all types of respiratory diseases.

"Clean air is very important. There are not only viruses in the air, not only covid viruses. There are a huge number of pathogens around, and people who have been sitting at home or after an illness with a depleted immune system, of course, need more air purification. Therefore, disinfection may well be useful on an ongoing basis", - says Larisa Popovich.

And it's hard to disagree with that. Whether we like it or not, the world has entered a new reality. And in this reality, the recirculator at home, at work, in a public area is already becoming an indispensable accessory - like a first-aid kit, in which, in addition to pills, a whole range of medical devices appeared - blood pressure monitors, glucometers, pulse oximeters, nebulizers, electronic thermometers...

"During the coronavirus pandemic, when many clinics are closed to ordinary visitors, people began to buy medical devices to take home. And air recirculators are one of them. A typical situation: a child came home from school, sneezing and coughing. You immediately turn on the UV recirculator to remove pathogens from the air. And this is a very reasonable and effective measure so that all members of one family do not fall ill", - Viktor Petrovsky, an analyst of the pharmaceutical market, states.

To the same extent, recirculators are necessary for preventive purposes - when you are still healthy, but the flu or covid epidemic has already begun.