May 27, 2021 9.42 am This story is over 14 months old

Lincolnshire landlord claims new air filter unit can protect from COVID-19

A bold claim, but Paul thinks it is cutting edge

A pub landlord in Lincolnshire has installed new technology that he believes can deal with pathogens such as COVID-19 and influenza.

The Swiss-made sterilAir is an air management system that claims to be the most powerful available equipment in the world to deal with airborne pathogens, including COVID-19 and the common cold.

Paul Vidic is the landlord of The Thorold Arms in Harmston near Lincoln, and believes he is the first and only person in Lincolnshire to have sterilAir installed.

He has two systems in his pub, one by the main bar and another at the other end of the restaurant area, and he swears by its “cutting edge technology”.

It has been designed by sterilAir AG, one of the world’s oldest and most experienced manufacturers of UV-C disinfection devices.

Paul told The Lincolnite that he wanted to get it as a signal of intent to his customers that he is doing all he can to keep them safe from the virus.

“From a business point of view we are trying to get customers back, and we are going above and beyond to do that and to make them feel safe as well.

Paul has two systems at the pub, and hopes it will encourage more customers to feel safe going out.

Paul was supplied the two units by Sleaford-based company PP-L Biosafety, and he promises that we’ll be seeing a lot more of them around Lincolnshire in future.

Dr Rhys Thomas, chief medical and scientific officer at PP-L, told The Lincolnite of the importance of his company’s UV-C systems.

“Since this pandemic began, there has been loads of scientific research into COVID-19 and its transmission, and we now know that the virus is primarily spread through airborne microdroplets which can spread very easily from person to person.

“Studies have shown that it can spread up to eight metres from an infected person and linger in the air for up to 16 hours. The problem is, government guidance for workplaces has barely changed since the spring and so we’re still treating it like a flu-like virus that is mainly spread through contaminated surfaces, which is way behind the science.

“Fortunately, there is simple, safe, affordable technology which can destroy the virus and almost all other pathogens in seconds, whether it’s in the air or on a surface.

“Germicidal UV-C disinfection systems could easily be used in classrooms, offices, factories, pubs, restaurants, trains and buses to make indoor environments safe enough for us to get on with our lives and rebuild our economy.

“It’s vital that the government and business leaders recognise this, because right now, our attempts to tackle the virus aren’t doing enough.”

Paul Waldeck, chief technical officer at PP-L, did, however say that introducing fresh air into the building will “dilute the risk” but won’t necessarily “remove” the virus unless the air can be extracted.

“Existing buildings were not designed to be biosafe, so inadequate ventilation will prevail in most buildings, unable to combat this viral hazard.

“One may consider an upgrade to the HVAC system, if one exists, and upgrade filtration, which will also perversely decrease air-flow rates because the higher-grade filters are far more restrictive to the air passing.

“The level of filtration, flow rate, plant and power needed to mitigate COVID-19 in buildings by relying on HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems will be cost-prohibitive and impractical in most cases. We need to look at what can be optimised and add supplementary mitigations.”