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13 November 2023
PREVENT, - Air Quality

In November 2023, EFA participated in a full day workshop in Brussels to explore technologies for mitigating the transmission of airborne pathogens. At the core of the discussion, were the technology available today to clean the air indoors and the health needs. EFA was represented by Isabel Proaño, Director of Policy, who brought the allergy and airways diseases patients’ perspective to the discussion.


The workshop was preceded by an online survey addressed to the HERA Civil Society Forum (EFA is a member) looking into current technologies for indoor air and scanning future technologies to:  

  • supress transmission of pathogens
  • decontaminate indoor environments
  • detect pathogens

There were lively discussions for each set of technologies presented: filtration and ventilation, thermal activation, UV radiation, electrostatic capture, plasma inactivation, chemical aerosolisation, microwaves radiation, lysozyme bactericides and photocatalytic oxidation. 

Most of the participants were highly specialised engineers and researchers, while there were also representatives from national authorities and civil society organisations such as healthcare professionals and architects. They were all asked to prioritise the different technologies according to their effectiveness, their availability and deployment, as well as about social implications such as health, energy consumption or cost. EFA participated in the exercise bringing the end-user perspective to the different technologies presented, including the need to ensure the highest safety and no-harm when planning which technologies to develop further, in view of a potential new pandemic.

The meeting was co-organised by the European Commission Directorate General for Health and Emergency Response Authority (DG HERA) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC). Both services are looking at different health crises scenarios, their impact on health and ways to mitigate health and societal effects. The workshop will inform the work of the Commission to identify what technical aspects would be relevant to have depending on the health crisis scenario. 

EFA will continue providing our patient expert advice to these technical discussions on indoor air quality and pathogens. 

Read more about EFA’s work on air quality.