RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Before the pandemic, everyone knew about pollution outdoors but many of us likely didn't consider the fact that there can be pollution inside too -- and when it comes to the coronavirus that pollution can be much more deadly.
"Indoor air quality has always been somewhat on the back burner. In the last 15 to 20 years it had become more prevalent, and now, with this COVID-19, people are very concerned," Ron Stumpo, President and founder of Raleigh's Air Purification Inc. told ABC11.
For more than three decades the air purification company has been working to improve indoor air quality at large industrial plants.
"They can't just let the welding smoke, oil mist fly through the plant and everybody breathe it. There are OSHA regulations that require certain limits of that and we then come in, we do all the engineering, and we design an air cleaner that will clean the air," he said.
Air Purification has even designed booths that suck welding smoke away immediately as welders work. Stumpo says his company also specializes in cleaning oil mist and dust from the air inside factories.
Like many other businesses, Air Purification suffered at the beginning of the pandemic; but, in a twist of fate, the pandemic is now helping the company sell a device that's becoming its most popular.
"We have the equipment that can suck in the viruses and then discharge it through this bipolar ionization," Stumpo said. "They'll attach to the virus, the atoms will attach to the virus and actually penetrate the membrane of the virus and destroy it."
And now the phones at the company's offices are ringing because large industrial plants are trying to entice workers to return.
"If they feel like the air is clean, obviously, they're going to want to come back to work. If they feel like it's not safe or the air is not up to the standards it should be, they don't want to come back," Stumpo said.
And he's happy people are finally thinking about indoor air quality and more aware of the quality of air indoors.
"COVID-19 has really made people more aware of what they breathe and what they put in their lungs." he said.