Last updateTue, 04 Aug 2020 6pm

Scientists demand minimum humidity at the workplace

As a result of the Covid 19 crisis, a global petition calls on the World Health Organization (WHO) to define clear guidelines for minimum air humidity in commercial and public buildings. The petition is based on numerous studies that show that a mean humidity level of 40 to 60% can prevent infections of the respiratory tract.

A clear recommendation for a lower limit for relative humidity in buildings would reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria in the workplace and protect public health. Based on this finding, a group of immunobiologists and medical experts joined forces to formulate a petition to the WHO. Until now, minimum humidity levels have not been included in the globally applicable WHO guidelines on indoor air quality.
Fighting respiratory diseases
The scientists are led by Dr. Stephanie Taylor, who is a consultant on infection control at Harvard Medical School, among other things: "In the face of the COVID 19 crisis, it is more important than ever to listen to the evidence that shows that optimal humidity can improve our indoor air quality and respiratory health. The introduction of WHO guidelines on lower limits for relative humidity can set a new standard for indoor air and improve the lives and health of millions of people," said Dr Stephanie Taylor, highlighting the importance of the petition.
With COVID-19 putting pressure on health systems and economies worldwide, the scientists are now calling on WHO to review existing studies. These provide clear evidence that controlled humidity can reduce the half-life of respiratory viruses and improve the natural immune defences of mucous membranes. Every winter, buildings all over the world fall below the recommended lower limit of 40% relative humidity, which contributes significantly to respiratory diseases such as influenza.
Condair supports petition
On behalf of the Condair Group, which develops solutions in the field of humidity control and energy optimisation worldwide, Oliver Zimmermann (CEO) asks for broad support for the petition: "We are delighted that Dr. Stephanie Taylor has sent this important message directly to the WHO that we need a minimum indoor humidity level. A minimum humidity level could significantly reduce the number of seasonal respiratory diseases and reduce absenteeism, which would benefit the global economy enormously and above all save lives!".
The petition to the WHO can be read and signed online here: www.40to60RH.com/de


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