With ionization, church doors can open completely again. Right?

Since the installation last year, the reformed municipality of Rijssen-West has had positive experiences with the ionization system of SuWoTec from Enter. But the church still cannot open completely. What is the problem?

William van der Schee, a member of the congregation, developed the church's ventilation system. He offered to install his ionization system in it, Elder K. H. de Heer tells on the telephone. “The ionization system has been tested to every nook and cranny of the church. Suppose an infected person comes in. Then the virus particles in the aerosols that he uses are killed within five to ten seconds. The people in the church are sitting still. There are no movements. That is why it is almost impossible for anyone in the church to become infected. ” The experiences with ionization in Nunspeet are also positive, says Rev. Schot in the vestry. “The installation went well. And the ions spread throughout the building, even on the gallery. That was a good message for us. ” Koster M. Emens van Nunspeet points out that three sensors in the church continuously measure how much dust is floating in the air, how much ozone is created and how many ions the air contains. He takes out his smartphone and shows the backlog. “This shows me all the measurement data for every moment of the day. The ozone content remains well below the standard. ” Churchgoers do not see the ions, but they do notice it, Elder H. Wobben knows. “When the sun shines in the church, you no longer see a path of dust particles. People with asthmatic complaints and lung problems say: We can breathe deeper. ” The consistory cannot judge whether the system switches off the viruses, admits Rev. Schot. “We have deposited several tens of thousands of euros for it. We have confidence in Van der Schee's scientific reports. In the church we work with a principle from creation: artificial mountain air that is rich in ions. Look, I like that. ”

Elder De Heer from Rijssen-West is also positive about ionization. “It works perfectly. The official authorities say: You can safely receive more people in the church with this system. Representatives from RIVM, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the security region have visited us. They were also very positive. But the difficulty is, which government agency has the authority to sign for acceptance so that more visitors can gather? ” Ionisation has also been installed in De Stroekeld sports hall in Rijssen. That has had a positive effect. An additional advantage is that SuWoTec's ionization system won the “Innovation Competition Sport & Covid-19” last year. The Lord: “Now that the sports world is on it, perhaps the churches can piggyback on the secular world. He may have more influence and can exert more pressure. ” SuWoTec is conducting tests under the flag of Fieldlabs, says Van der Schee. These tests include the Ministry of Economic Affairs, RIVM, GGDs, Sport Innovator and various universities. Football associations UEFA and FIFA are also watching. In lobbying the official bodies, the Reformed municipality of Rijssen-West is working together with that in Nunspeet. The request to investigate ionization in practice has been placed with national politicians, the Senate and the House of Representatives fractions of the SGP. A motion to that effect was recently adopted almost unanimously by the House of Representatives.

The Reformed municipality of Nunspeet has also contacted the mayor. "It is right that they have come to me," said Mayor Breunis van de Weerd van Nunspeet in his office. "The mayor has a prominent role in corona law." Yet he had to disappoint the Reformed congregation. “The Covid legislation does not allow exceptions to the one-and-a-half meter rule. If they want to continue with this, they have to turn to the national government. This offers space to carry out pilots. I have proposed ionization technology to the safety region as a solution for buildings where large groups of people come together, such as sports halls, theaters, churches and schools. Since the importance of ionization is broader than just for churches, you can make a fist. Then there is a chance that tests will be carried out that will eventually lead to rules for buildings. ” Minister De Jonge of Public Health has now submitted a request from the safety regions. “The RIVM or TNO will have to conduct research into ionization. Unfortunately, the RIVM has focused on vaccination, ”observes Rev. Schot. "Ionization is not in the picture." Nevertheless, RIVM did research into ionization systems in 2010. After that it remained very quiet. "There is no scientific evidence that ionizers in public places or at home prevent or reduce the transmission of the coronavirus," says the RIVM on its website, for the sake of clarity. When asked, Geert Westerhuis of RIVM states that the effect of ionizers on the larger droplets is not certain. “We often get that question. Within 1.5 meters you do not prevent the transfer of virus particles with ionization. We do not advise against ionization, because it may have added value. "


“Definitely no magic” 

Aad van der Starre of Freshlight from Deventer has been developing and installing ionization systems for fifteen years. Especially in poultry farming. Now they have also been used in churches for the first time. In the church hall of the restored reformed Victor Church in Apeldoorn, he proposes that ionization can be a means to fully occupy the pews again. Last year Freshlight from Deventer introduced the Pure Induct together with Brink Climate Systems. This concerned an air filter with ionization that blows near-sterile air into a room. Then Van der Starre said: “The next step could be to build in the ionization filter system in the air recirculation. This allows us to disable viruses indoors. "

Has that moment arrived now?

Van der Starre: "I think so." It is a fact that ionization works. In chicken houses, ionization results in a drastic reduction of particulate matter and ammonia. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency itself set Freshlight's ionization lamps as the standard for poultry farming. In addition, negatively charged particles effectively tackle pathogens. As a test he had applied ionization in the former Eben-Haëzerkerk of the Reformed congregation in the Netherlands in Apeldoorn. This building was also used temporarily by the restored reformed municipality. “That church building had a major ventilation problem. After the installation of the ionization system, there was hardly any more coughing under the sermon, noted the locally restored reformed former pastor, Dr. R. van Kooten. Since then, Rev. Van Kooten has been my best ambassador ”, says Van der Starre. In the Victor Church, which the restored reformed municipality subsequently moved into, an ionization system has also been installed for 4,200 euros. As well as in the restored reformed Maranatha Church in Woudenberg. "That works to our full satisfaction," says Van der Starre. "We are currently discussing this with the reformed congregation in Hedel, a synagogue in Amstelveen, the ecomenic Drie Rankenkerk in Apeldoorn and the reformed congregation in the Netherlands in Rhenen."

Can ionization also be a solution for churches?

Bertus Verbeek, director of supplier Vekostar from Woudenberg, who has also joined the Victor Church, expects so. "If ionization from our producer Freshlight helps against pathogens in poultry houses, you can expect the same in the church." The safety of the ionization system is all right, according to scientific reports. Many ionization systems create ozone in the air. Too much ozone in the air is dangerous for the lungs. Freshlight ionizers use carbon brushes instead of metal pins or spheres. As a result, no ozone is created in the air, TNO previously noted. After all, it's about people understanding how ionization works, Van der Starre continues. “If you don't understand it, it looks like hocus pocus. But it certainly is not. That's why I'd rather people get it than believe me on my blue eyes. ” The principle by which negative ions render viruses harmless is well known. He distinguishes three types of suspended particles in the air: solid particulate matter, aerosols (fine liquid droplets) and so-called airborns: fine floating droplets in the air. Fine dust and aerosols cluster through ionization into larger particles that then end up on the ground. "They are the carriers of viruses." But the most dangerous are airborns. “Floating droplets that go straight into your lungs when inhaled. Each can contain five virus particles that multiply 100,000 times per second in the lungs. The body's reaction to this causes emphysema, after which Covid-19 patients can choke on their own fluid, ”explains Van der Starre. “The air that is rich in airborns is located in the church at the height at which people breathe in and out,” adds Verbeek. “It is therefore important that we tackle the viruses ourselves. Ionisation does that too. ”


"We know from research that negative particles in the air can neutralize 97 percent of viruses." The problem is that we cannot easily measure how effective ionization is against viruses. That was also evident from the same Swedish study. ” Van der Starre quotes from the paper: "To date, there is no simple, verified technology that can capture and identify viruses from the air." But the content of negative ions in the air is easily measurable, Verbeek knows. “We carry out those measurements, and we send them accordingly. Because it has been scientifically proven that where the ions are located, they turn off the viruses. ”

What does ionization do?

Two systems are currently being installed in churches: that of Vekostar and that of SuWoTec. These not only allow swirling dust to cluster, but also tackle pollen, harmful substances, odors, bacteria, viruses and fungal spores. Vekostar's ionization system works as follows: carbon brushes launch millions of electrons per second. The electrons react with water in the air. This is followed by a series of chemical reactions, in which hydrogen peroxide is formed. This kills germs and removes odors and other chemicals in the air. Usually these are converted into water and carbon dioxide. Hydrogen peroxide also kills coronaviruses. Hydrogen peroxide also reacts with oxygen in the air, producing negatively charged hydroxide ions. The higher the concentration of hydroxide ions in the air, the faster the pathogens are rendered harmless. 

Ion tubes

The CATS system from SuWoTec from Enter works differently. Installed ion tubes release a balanced amount of negatively and positively charged oxygen ions. “That is copied from nature. Normally positively and negatively charged ions neutralize each other, but in the mountains certain infrared frequencies of sunlight prevent this from happening, ”explains William van der Schee of SuWoTec. He is a member of the reformed community of Rijssen-West. In his system, he uses the same frequencies from the infrared spectrum as a so-called bipolar carrier wave to be able to move the ions through the interior space. In contact with the coronavirus, positively charged spikes attract the negatively charged oxygen ions, and the negatively charged virus particles attract the positively charged oxygen ions. “They make a short circuit, as it were, and pluck a hydrogen atom from the virus. That breaks it. ” In the free air, the ions only get where they can flow freely, Van der Schee continues. "With the carrier wave, we can fill the entire space with ions."


Recent Italian research shows that ionizers effectively disinfect the air. Hospitals such as Johns Hopkins, Children's Hospital Boston and the University of Maryland Medical Center have also used air ionization with success. Negative ions themselves render many pathogenic bacteria and viruses in the air harmless, according to Swedish research. Negatively charged ions damage so-called spikes, the protruding proteins on the surface with which the coronaviruses penetrate cells. Damaged spikes make it impossible for a virus to infect humans.




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