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Coronavirus: Industry expert questions Quebec about air purifiers in classrooms

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Experts disagree with Quebec over use of air purifiers in classrooms' Coronavirus: Experts disagree with Quebec over use of air purifiers in classrooms
WATCH: The debate over air purifiers in helping curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in classrooms continues. More experts say the Quebe government is wrong to advise against them. Global’s Raquel Fletcher explains. – Jan 21, 2021

Air Pura Industries, based in Laval, has been manufacturing air purifiers for clients around the world since 2005. The president and CEO said when it comes to the spread of Covid-19 through aerosols, the Quebec government is not listening to industry experts.

“We know what we’re talking about. We have science behind us. We’ve done this for a long time,” said Helder Pedro.

Read more: Coronavirus: Quebec recommends against using portable air purifiers in schools

Pedro couldn’t believe his ears when Quebec Public Health recommended against installing air purifiers in classrooms.

The agency said the purifiers could have the adverse effect of spreading the virus around.

“Generally speaking, if you have a product, an air purifier that is properly conceived and properly built, that notion is absolutely ludicrous,” Pedro said.

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He added that HEPA air purifiers are required by law in dentists’ offices and operating rooms.

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“If it’s good enough for an operating room, I would like to know what kind of moron doesn’t think that type of technology is good enough for a classroom,” he said.

Read more: EMSB to buy air purifiers as Quebecers take issue of ventilation in classrooms into their own hands

“Air filtration with proper filters that are manufactured to (proper) standards is an effective mechanism removing aerosol particles containing viable SARS-CoV-2 variants in the air and that is based on fundamental aerosol science,” said McGill University researcher Yevgen Nazarenko.

Meanwhile, Premier François Legault said you cannot compare classrooms and dental offices.

“When you have 30 in the same classroom, where would you put the purifier? And how many do you need? That’s what I understand,” he said.

“We are asking our best people to give us the right analysis. You will always find some experts from another company or others who will say something different,” said Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s public health director.

Dr. Arruda added that he recognizes aerosol transmission is an important factor in the spread of COVID-19, but he stands behind his position that the best way to fight the virus is still two-metre distancing and wearing a mask.

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