Keynote Addresses at Virtual Fall Conference Include “The Air We Breathe: What's Inside Matters” and “Filtration and Air Cleaning in the Age of COVID-19”

The American Filtration & Separations Society will devote its entire fall conference on December 2 and 3 to the air filtration industry’s response to COVID-19: What we have witnessed, what we have learned, and what is on the horizon. To accommodate a wide range of time zones, the virtual conference will take place from 10am to 2pm CST on both days.

The conference includes a keynote address each day:

  1. The Air We Breathe: What's Inside Matters
  2. Filtration and Air Cleaning in the Age of COVID-19

Dr. Ashish Diwanji, President of Lydall Performance Materials, will present “The Air We Breathe: What's Inside Matters,” on the first day of the conference, Wednesday, December 2.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the world to reexamine indoor air quality and forever changed how the world thinks about the air we breathe. A number of environmental and societal factors have contributed to the need to higher-efficiency filtration for air quality applications, but COVID-19 has created an immediate and urgent demand for these solutions. It is our responsibility, the industry’s responsibility, to meet this demand and to continue educating our world of the importance of clean air.

The filtration industry has played a vital role during this pandemic. Whether it is through respirators, face masks, filters for ventilators, HVAC and HEPA filters, it is because of these essential products that the world was able to continuously operate during the pandemic.

In this plenary speech, the role the filtration industry has played in this pandemic will be discussed as well as the challenges faced throughout the value chain. Products and solutions will be presented along with an update on regulations and standards. And finally, an outlook on the short- and long-term impact to our industry will be shared.


Jeffrey Siegel, Ph.D., Professor of Civil and Mineral Engineering at the University of Toronto, will present “Filtration and Air Cleaning in the Age of COVID-19” on the second day of the conference, Thursday, December 3.

Filtration and air cleaning are having a moment. There is intense focus on removing SARS-CoV-2 from the air, and society is engaging with HVAC systems and indoor air quality in an unprecedented manner. This represents both opportunities and challenges. The central opportunity is that the filtration and air cleaning industry can reach new customers and demonstrate value for their products. The central challenge is that there many new products, new technologies, and new approaches, only some of which are effective, and this is creating additional confusion in the market. This presentation will address this challenge and provide the scientific evidence for what filtration and air cleaning measures work for SARS-CoV-2 and other related respiratory viruses. A specific focus is on the context for these measures and how they can be used to achieve a healthier indoor environment and maximize the COVID-19 risk reduction benefit. The presentation will also address the broader (beyond COVID-19) question: how should filters and air cleaners be used to ensure effective improvement of indoor air quality? The overall goal of the presentation is to ensure that the moment we are in translates into a sustainable future for effective filtration and air cleaning.




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