“Since the coronavirus is spread through the air, higher CO2 levels in a room likely mean there is a higher chance of transmission if an infected person is inside,” leading aerosol scientist Prof Shelly Miller writes in The Conversation. “Simply put, the more fresh, outside air inside a building, the better. Bringing in this air dilutes any contaminant in a building, whether a virus or a something else, and reduces the exposure of anyone inside.”
Miller cites a 2019 study on a tuberculosis outbreak in Taipei University, Taiwan, where many rooms were poorly ventilated and reached CO2 levels above 3,000 parts per million (ppm). When engineers brought levels down to under 600 ppm the outbreak stopped. “According to the research, the increase in ventilation was responsible for 97% of the decrease in transmission,” said Miller, before going on to recommend a CO2 target of 600 ppm.
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