Photo: TU Berlin
Measurements show: that’s how high the risk of corona infection is in buses and trains
Many people wonder how safe public transport is during the corona pandemic. A German research team has now investigated how high the aerosol concentration is there.
Public transport in Berlin will remain safe even during the corona pandemic – for passengers and drivers. This is confirmed by a recent study by the Experimental Fluid Mechanics Department at the Technical University (TU) Berlin and the Biofluid Mechanics Laboratory at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
On behalf of the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), a team of scientists had experimentally investigated the spread of aerosols in various Berlin subways, trams and buses.
Researchers studied aerosol spread in public transport vehicles
For the experiment, the researchers used artificial theater fog and aerosol measurements, in which breathing air contaminated with viruses was simulated and inhaled by human-like dolls.
The vehicle ventilation and the targeted opening of windows and doors ensured an effective reduction in the aerosol concentration by up to 80 percent.
Photo: TU Berlin
The partition panes in the buses effectively prevented the aerosols from spreading from the passenger compartment to the driver’s workstation. The risk of infection with the corona virus is therefore rather low, according to the researchers.
Prof. Christian Oliver Paschereit from the TU Berlin stated:
“We were very pleased that our newly developed measurement technology was able to help assess the spread of aerosols in local public transport and thus the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2. We were able to show here that the ventilation systems and opening the windows and doors significantly reduce the aerosol concentration in the means of transport considered. “
Important to know
The investigation did not take into account the additional positive influence of medical masks as they are currently worn by passengers.
“The use of buses and trains does not represent an increased risk of infection. With a mask, distance and good ventilation, we can continue to travel safely together,” said BVG CEO Eva Kreienkamp.
The findings are now to be used to use the ventilation and the window opening in an even more targeted manner in order to further reduce the aerosol concentration.
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