Do Blueair purifiers remove coronavirus?
To help answer this question, we took an aggressive approach to put our HealthProtect™ air purifiers to the test as the first major brand¹ to test against the live SARS-CoV-2 virus. Results from bio safety lab, MRIGlobal, show our HealthProtect 7400 series air purifiers effectively removed 99.99% of the live airborne virus (SARS-CoV-2) from an 13 ft³ biosafety lab test chamber.²
Blueair is the first major air purifier brand to test against live SARS-CoV-2 virus – with our HealthProtect™ air purifiers.
What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Often used interchangeably by those not in a science field, there is an important distinction between COVID-19, Coronavirus, and SARS-CoV-2. The physical virus is officially named SARS-CoV-2, which stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. It is a strain within the coronavirus family. The disease caused by the virus is called COVID-19 (‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease). In the following content, SARS-CoV-2 will be referred to as ‘coronavirus’.
How coronavirus spreads
According to the Center of Disease Control and Protection, exposure to respiratory droplets containing the infection viruses is the main way people are infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Exposure to respiratory droplets containing the virus can happen through direct contact (for example, shaking hands) or through the air.³
Why we did this
Inspired by our Swedish heritage, quality is at the heart of everything we do - we champion independent, third-party testing with methods that produce honest, factual results. While other brands report coronavirus removal using virus substitutes or proxies, we aimed higher with our testing methods. We conducted removal tests in the best way we know-how, with cutting-edge technology in a biosafety lab, using the live SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
Our testing journey
First, we identified one of only a handful of global labs that can accommodate live aerosolized coronavirus testing, US-based MRIGlobal. The accredited biosafety lab has a proven track record of safety and expertise, performing contract scientific and engineering research for government and industry partners including the DOD, CDC, EPA and NIH.
Capturing live SARS-CoV-2 virus particles
To test coronavirus removal, a Blueair HealthProtect 7410i air purifier was placed inside a Class III biological safety cabinet, measuring 13 ft³. Although our 7400 series models are AHAM Verifide® for room sizes up to 418 ft², the size of the testing area was limited by safety protocols for the volume of aerosolized virus particles allowed.⁴
The live virus particles were pressurized, also called aerosolizing, using a device called a nebulizer to replicate the fine particles of respiratory droplets spread by an infected person. Theses droplets can hang in the air for up to a few hours.⁵
Part 1: Measuring airborne coronavirus concentrations without an air purifier
To understand how much of the virus remains in the air without an air purifier, three tests were conducted inside the bio-safety cabinet with the air purifier turned OFF. Virus particles were released into the area using a pressurized device, turning the particles into an aerosolized mist and circulated by a fan for 10 minutes to ensure they were distributed throughout the testing area. After 5 minutes, a sample was taken to measure the concentration of coronavirus particles in the air. An average of the three tests became our baseline measurement.
Part 2: Measuring the air purifiers removal of the airborne virus
Next, the same process was repeated three times, except, this time, the HealthProtect™ 7410i air purifier was turned ON at the 10-minute mark. Like the three baseline tests, air samples were taken after 5 minutes to measure the concentration of aerosolized coronavirus particles. An average of the three tests became the reduction or removal measurement. When compared with the baseline measurement, the results show 99.99% of the live aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 was removed from the air in the test chamber.
Results show 99.99% of the live SARS-CoV-2 virus was removed from the air in the test chamber by the HealthProtect™ 7400 series air purifier.
For more on ventilating and circulating clean air to reduce exposure to coronavirus, please look to the guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and US Environmental Protection Agency.⁵
"When used properly, air purifiers can help reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses in a home or confined space," according to the EPA.⁶
¹Based on published testing of top ten brands as ranked by 2020 sales by NPD Group Retail Tracking Service.
²HealthProtect 7400 series tested in 13 ft³ chamber.Not proven to kill SARS-CoV-2 or reduce or prevent COVID-19 transmission.
³CDC, ‘Science Brief: SARS-CoV-2 and Potential Airborne Transmission’, October 2020
⁴13 ft³ test chamber does not translate to larger room sizes.
⁵CDC, ‘Ventilation in Buildings’, December 21, 2020
⁶EPA, ‘Will an air cleaner or air PURIFIER help protect me and my family FROM COVID-19 in my home?’, January 12, 2021