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Businesses can be safer through engineering

| December 3, 2020 1:00 AM

There are things that businesses can do to reopen safely from COVID-19 (“Business associations push back against Inslee’s closures,” Nov. 30, 2020). These are called “engineering controls.” We do these on airplanes. Businesses can put in central vacuum systems, which are hoses that vacuum the air from every desk, table, sales window, computer terminal and work area. These are commonly used for allergy sufferers, but COVID-19 is an airborne disease that can be vacuumed right out of the building. The second thing businesses can do is put in full spectrum lighting, which gives off a small amount of ultraviolent light, which destroys the virus. Just change the bulbs. At night when no-one is in the building, intense UV light can be used to sanitize the building. These are known technologies that are effective at controlling airborne diseases. Building design can be an effective tool at controlling airborne germs, such as skylights, increased air exchange rates, and easy-to-clean surfaces. Every business should take better engineering controls seriously, and can be an effective way by which businesses can still do business during a epidemic. Why is no one talking about this?

Martin Nix

Moses Lake