BlueSky Global, an industrial dust collection company in Tomball, has created a dust filtration and airflow system manufactured to limit the spread of airborne diseases, such as the coronavirus, said Michael Seitz, chief executive officer and founder of BlueSky Global.

“[Our filters] remove the aerosols from the air,” Seitz said. “Cleaning the air will improve the quality of life for everybody.”

University of Texas Medical Branch experts discovered July 14 the coronavirus can survive for up to 16 hours suspended in the air in an aerosol, as Community Impact Newspaper previously reported.

BlueSky Global was founded in 2016 and moved to Tomball in 2017, Seitz said.

Seitz said BlueSky’s product, the BlueSky Defender, incorporates a high-efficiency particulate air filter along with its SmartBox feature, which allows for changing filters easily and safely.

“[If] nobody touches the filter, then you’ll be safer,” Seitz said. “When it is time to change [the filter], in six months or a year, you yank the box out and put a new one in.”

Seitz claims other, more conventional filtration systems are not as safe and contained as the SmartBox, which keeps the filter contained and makes it easy to dispose of without risk of spreading the airborne diseases it filters out.

Traditional air filtration systems circulate the air in a room three to five times an hour, Seitz said, but BlueSky’s designs can circulate air 12 to 20 times an hour, preventing airborne diseases, such as the coronavirus, from lingering in the air.

“BlueSky has a machine that deals with massive quantities of air. We can really clean huge rooms and mobilize quickly,” he said.

The BlueSky Defender also uses a different airflow system, with air being circulated from the ceiling down to the floor. Seitz said BlueSky has air intakes along the floor, so any aerosols or particles are prevented from traveling across a room to more people.

“What most filtration machines are doing—they aren’t removing air from the rooms; they are taking a little bit and mixing it with fresh air,” Seitz said. “We want to bring fresh air in from the roof because the stuff you breathe out wants to naturally float to the floor.”

James Pruitt, global estimating director and supply chain manager for BlueSky, said the cost of BlueSky’s Defender starts at $30,000 and would need the appropriate air ducts along the ceiling and floor to use.

“[The BlueSky Defender] can cover [rooms] anywhere from 2,000-10,000 square feet with 9-foot ceilings,” he said.

BlueSky’s Defender is ready for production, Seitz said, and could be useful to critical businesses with high-traffic areas, such as hospitals and grocery stores.

“People aren’t getting sick in their rooms; they are getting sick when they meet each other,” he said. “Common rooms need ventilation.”

BlueSky owns the patent for the designs and contracts out the fabrication and assembly of the machines, Pruitt said.

“We work with engineering design firms and mechanical contractors,” he said. “If a business already has a firm, we can work with them directly to figure out the most effective layout [for the system].”

Although Pruitt said some businesses would have to retrofit air ducts in order to ensure they are both in the ceiling and floor, once the system is in place, it will be beneficial for the long term, helping with future flu and allergy seasons as well as throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Pruitt said.

“Once you have the filtration in place, you don’t have to worry,” he said.