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主旨:紐時賞析/新冠病毒能在室內空氣中存活 專家呼籲嚴格規範職場空品

Experts Urge Strict Workplace Air Quality Standards, in Wake of Pandemic

專家呼籲 嚴格規範職場空品

 

Clean water in 1842, food safety in 1906, a ban on lead-based paint in 1971. These sweeping public health reforms transformed not just our environment but expectations for what governments can do.

 

1842年潔淨水,1906年食品安全,1971年禁用含鉛塗料。這些影響廣泛的公共衛生改革不僅改變我們的環境,也轉變我們對政府能做什麼的期望。

 

Now it is time to do the same for indoor air quality, according to a group of 39 scientists. In a manifesto of sorts published in the journal Science, the researchers called for a “paradigm shift” in how citizens and government officials think about the quality of the air we breathe indoors.

 

一個由39名科學家組成的團體指出,現在該要求政府管管室內空氣品質了。這些研究人員在「科學」期刊發表類似宣言的文章,要求公民和官員思考我們呼吸的室內空氣品質時要「典範轉移」。

 

The timing of the scientists’ call to action coincides with the nation’s large-scale reopening as coronavirus cases steeply decline: Americans are anxiously facing a return to offices, schools, restaurants and theaters — exactly the type of crowded indoor spaces in which the coronavirus is thought to thrive.

 

這批科學家呼籲採取行動之際,美國正因新冠肺炎新增病例驟降而大舉重啟經濟,民眾則對回歸辦公室、學校、餐廳和影戲院感到焦慮,這些場所就是公認新冠病毒相當容易散播的擁擠室內空間。

 

There is little doubt now that the coronavirus can linger in the air indoors, floating far beyond the recommended 6 feet of distance, the experts declared. The accumulating research puts the onus on policymakers and building engineers to provide clean air in public buildings and to minimize the risk of respiratory infections, they said.

 

專家說,新冠病毒能在室內空氣中存活,飄散得比當局建議的社交距離6呎遠得多,幾無疑義。專家指出,到目前為止的研究顯示,決策者和建築工程師有責任使公共建物內空氣潔淨,並盡可能降低呼吸道感染風險。

 

“We expect to have clean water from the taps,” said Lidia Morawska, the group’s leader and an aerosol physicist at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. “We expect to have clean, safe food when we buy it in the supermarket. In the same way, we should expect clean air in our buildings and any shared spaces.”

 

這篇文章的領銜者、澳洲昆士蘭科技大學氣溶膠物理學家莉迪亞.莫羅斯卡說:「我們會預期水龍頭流出乾淨的水,也會預期在超市買到的食品乾淨安全,同樣地,我們應該預期在身處的大樓等公共場所擁有乾淨的空氣。」

 

Meeting the group’s recommendations would require new workplace standards for air quality, but the scientists maintained that the remedies do not have to be onerous. Air quality in buildings can be improved with a few simple fixes, they said: adding filters to existing ventilation systems, using portable air cleaners and ultraviolet lights — or even just opening the windows where possible.

 

要把這個團體的建議付諸實行,得提高工作場所的空氣品質標準,不過這群科學家堅稱,他們提出的解方未必難以實施。他們說,大樓裡的空氣品質可以靠一些簡單方法改善:給既有的通風系統加上過濾器,使用攜帶式空氣清淨機和紫外線,甚至只是盡可能打開窗戶。

 

Morawska led a group of 239 scientists who last year called on the World Health Organization to acknowledge that the coronavirus can spread in tiny droplets, or aerosols, that drift through the air. The WHO had insisted that the virus spreads only in larger, heavier droplets and by touching contaminated surfaces, contradicting its own 2014 rule to assume all new viruses are airborne.

 

以莫羅斯卡為首、共239名科學家組成的團體,去年呼籲世界衛生組織承認,新冠病毒能以飄浮在空氣中的迷你飛沫(或稱氣溶膠)傳播。世衛堅稱新冠病毒只以較大較重的飛沫形式傳播,或藉由碰觸被病毒汙染的表面傳播,違背了世衛自己在2014年制訂、假設所有新病毒都能夠透過空氣傳播的規則。

 

The WHO conceded on July 9 that transmission of the virus by aerosols could be responsible for “outbreaks of COVID-19 reported in some closed settings” but only at short range.

 

世衛去年7月9日承認,以氣溶膠傳播的新冠病毒可能是「一些密閉場所疫情爆發」的原因,但氣溶膠只能飄浮短距離。

 

新聞來源 : 聯合新聞網 https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5495286?from=udn-catelistnews_ch2

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