RiteAire Marine’s Dehumidifier System Minimizes
Exposure to Viruses and VOCs in Yacht Interiors
by Reducing Relative Humidity to 40- to 50-Percent Range
The RiteAire Marine™ (RAM) Dehumidifier System not only prevents mold, mildew, and musty odors in yacht interiors, but it also creates a healthier environment on board by holding relative humidity (RH) levels to 40-50 percent. Numerous studies have shown that viruses, including Corona viruses like those that cause COVID-19, spread best in indoor environments where relative humidity (RH) levels either are below 40 percent or exceed 60 percent. In fact, these studies have found that the 40-50 percent RH range is ideal for combatting the spread of viruses indoors, as well as fighting mold and formaldehyde emissions.
A 1985 landmark study entitled “Criteria for Human Exposure to Humidity in Occupied Buildings” by E.M. Sterling, A. Arundel and T.D. Sterling, Ph.D., published by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers), concluded that 40-60 percent relative humidity at normal room temperatures is the healthiest RH range for minimizing risks to human health by biological contaminants and chemical reactions.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publication A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home states: “Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) relative humidity.”
An August 20, 2020, study by the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) concluded that: “A relative humidity of 40 to 60 percent could reduce the spread of the viruses and their absorption through the nasal mucous membrane.”
Elsewhere, a Yale University study, conducted by professor Akiko Iwasaki, an immunobiologist at Yale and senior author of the paper appearing in the Annual Review of Virology, concluded that while 40-60 percent RH may be the ideal range for inhibiting aerosol virus transmission, it noted that tests on mice have found that 50 percent RH, “contributed to good viral clearance and efficient immune response.”
The RiteAire Marine™ Dehumidifier System has been proven to maintain RH levels at 40-50 percent, the ideal range for mitigating the spread of viruses, such as COVID-19 and SARS, as well as mold.
The RAM system draws moist air in through an optimum point in a boat, lowering humidity levels by 30 percent or more. It distributes that healthier, drier air through the boat’s ductwork until the healthy 40-50 percent RH zone is reached. Air conditioners alone can’t accomplish this as that’s not what they were designed to do…. Air conditioners are designed to move large quantities of air across the cooling coils without sufficient time to remove high moisture content – their job is to lower temperature rather than humidity. The RAM system works independently of a boat’s a/c system, and together they create a healthier, more comfortable onboard environment.
Numerous studies have shown that relative humidity levels above 60 percent also can increase harmful formaldehyde emissions.
For example, a 2015 study by Shaodan Huang, Jianyin Xiong, Yinping Zhang, entitled “The Impact of Relative Humidity on the Emission Behaviour of Formaldehyde in Building Materials” found that “relative humidity is one of the main environmental factors affecting the emission behaviors of formaldehyde from building materials.” The study also found that emissions increase nearly 10 times when RH levels rise from 20 to 85 percent.
An additional 2010 study, entitled “Effect of Temperature and Humidity on Formaldehyde Emissions in Temporary Housing Units”, written by Srinandini Parthasarathy, Randy L. Maddalena, Marion L. Russell, and Michael G. Apte for the Environmental Energy Technologies Division Indoor Environment Department Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Berkeley, found that a, “10° C variation in temperature increased the formaldehyde emissions 1.9 – 3.5 times, and a 35 % increase in relative humidity can increase the emissions by a factor of 1.8 – 2.6.”
Once again, the RAM Dehumidifier System makes boat interiors healthier by reducing emissions of formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Scientific studies have shown that the “healthy zone” for relative humidity in indoor spaces is lower – 40 to 50 percent relative humidity (rh) – minimizing the presence of mold, mildew, viruses, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde in interior air.