Cooled by viruses since Covid, we are often ready to put all the chances on our side to get through a winter without getting sick. But in this quest, an often-praised object would ultimately not be of much help, according to scientists.
The Covid 19 epidemic has had repercussions on the way we live: today more than before, we try to avoid viruses and protect the most vulnerable. It is for this purpose that many establishments have succumbed to equipment supposed to protect them from ambient viruses.
Air purifiers, a new accessory for healthy interiors?
Thus, many restaurants, hotels, but also schools and nursing homes have installed air purifiers within their establishments. Objects are supposed to “purify” the ambient air using powerful filters, particularly in very busy and/or confined places, and where the risk of contamination is then higher.
According to advertisements found on the internet, the different brands boast of being 99.6% effective against coronaviruses according to established tests. Really ?
No evidence of reduced risk to date
The answer is no, according to a new study published in the journal Preventive Medecine. Air purifiers would not reduce the risk of getting sick nor would they remove pathogens from the air. This statement is the result of a meta-analysis of studies published on this subject between 1970 and 2022 (none having however been carried out during the health crisis) and whose objective was to measure the effectiveness of the different technologies available – germicidal lamps, ionizers, air purifiers – to treat indoor air.
Results ? In real conditions, scientists have not found evidence supporting the effectiveness of these devices on the risk of contamination. In other words, the risk of being infected by a pathogen and falling ill remains high even when these devices are installed.
“We strongly suspect the existence of relevant studies with very minor or no effect, but these have never been published. Our results are disappointing.… But it is essential that public health decision-makers have a complete picture of the situation.” concluded Dr Julii Brainard, researcher at UEA’s Norwich Medical School.
A marketing argument designed to reassure
You are free to buy an air purifier for your home. But according to Dr. Kierzek, medical director of Doctissmo, what should be remembered from this study is the lack of evidence:
“It is above all a marketing argument, in an increasingly hypochondriac society. Today we want to live in a sanitized universe, but it is impossible to eliminate viruses, since they are in the air and we cannot eliminate the air! And besides, so much the better: it is high time to learn to live with viruses, to accept them, and to strengthen this balance between the immune system and viruses, rather than trying to eliminate them by all means.”
Do you want to have healthy air in your home? According to our doctor, airing your interior for 10 minutes morning and evening is still the best way to renew the air in your home.