Insight

The Bradford schools trialling air cleaners to try and reduce COVID-19 transmission

Bowling Park School in Bradford is one of 30 in the city trialling air cleaners Credit: ITV Calendar

30 primary schools in Bradford are at the forefront of a major study trialling air cleaners to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The study is being led by the University of Leeds and on Friday one of the scientists visited Bowling Park School to explain how it works.

"It's really critically important that we explore all the possible ways to decreasing airborne illnesses and this is one potentially powerful technology we can use", said  Professor Mark  Mon-Williams, who's leading the study.

The study is investigating two different approaches to disinfecting the air with the use of portable or wall-mounted cleaners.

One is based on filtering the air by passing it through what is known as a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, which captures most airborne viruses.

The second approach involves cycling the air through an enclosed unit where it is exposed to an ultraviolet germicidal light, which inactivates microorganisms including viruses. 

Based on the outcome of modelling and experimental analysis, the scientists involved in the study are “confident” that the technologies will reduce the risk of COVID-19 being spread by microscopic respiratory particles carried in the air, also known as aerosol transmission. 

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said:

And for the children, the prospect of technology being the answer to staying in class means everything to children who spent so much time at home.

If the technology works in Bradford, it could be rolled out in schools across the country.