Question ref. S6W-05823
Asked by: Katy Clark, West Scotland, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 20 January 2022
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the use of HEPA filters in school classrooms.
Current status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 28 January 2022
Expert advice from bodies including SAGE and the Health and Safety Executive indicates that air cleaning/filtration devices, such as HEPA filters, are not a substitute for efforts to improve ventilation in order to mitigate against the risks of COVID. Our guidance for schools reflects this advice, and makes clear that air cleaning/filtration devices should not be used as a substitute for natural or mechanical ventilation (including the opening of windows and doors).
Our updated guidance for schools does, however, make clear that air cleaning/filtration devices may be used as a temporary mitigation in exceptional circumstances when no other mitigations are achievable, while working to achieve a more sustainable solution.
The Scottish Government keeps its guidance under regular review in light of the latest expert advice, and will consider any necessary updates as research and evidence evolve.