Carbon dioxide as proxy for viral aerosol concentration in indoor air?

It sounds like there's increasing evidence that in indoor environments with sustained occupancy, aerosol transmission becomes significant for COVID-19. If so, it becomes useful not just to avoid such environments, but also to flush the air continuously as a precaution.

There's likely no feasible way to measure actual viral aerosol concentration, but I suspect that it would be correlated with CO2 levels across a certain range of ventilation strategies. CO2 is currently used in some HVAC systems as a proxy for air quality in general (other aerosols, VOCs, etc.), and CO2 monitors are relatively inexpensive. Would there be value in deploying CO2 monitors in grocery stores in order to confirm there are sufficient air changes per hour?

Responses: 1 so far Feed icon

  1. Andreas says:

    What a brilliant idea. Very simple and helpful. A self contained device with a large read out would, produced in mass, not even be that expensive. Actually: Supermarkets measuring foot traffic this way would generate interesting data as well. Checkout counters record sales. Having C02 data you could also generate a 'conversion rate' (exists in meat space too). Final step: Hook up a muzak generating AI to all networked stores and let it churn away. In a short while, people will wonder how they filled up the trunks of their cars to the brim with stuff they can not remember ever wanting ...

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