Responding to the news that the Welsh Government will look again at evidence before buying controversial ozone disinfectant machines, Plaid Cymru Health and Care spokesperson Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said,
“The Welsh Government said on Monday they would be providing 1,800 ozone disinfecting machines to schools, colleges and universities throughout Wales at a cost of £3m. They now seem to have performed quite a spectacular U-turn following serious concerns by medical professionals and scientists about the safety of these machines – now claiming they only “considered” their use and have not even begun the procurement process. Something doesn’t add up.
“Ozone disinfecting machines clean the air when no-one is in the room and are dangerous to use when people are present. That’s why serious questions need to be asked about the Government’s judgment in deciding to roll out these particular machines into our schools, colleges and universities – a few days before students begin returning after the summer break.
“What certainty have they been given that this brand-new technology – that hasn’t been fully trialled yet – is safe to use in these settings?
“The return to school is set against a backdrop of rising case numbers – given that our children and young people remain largely unvaccinated, it’s impractical to think that COVID can be kept out of our schools. Every measure must therefore be taken to ensure that transmission is minimised. The virus is airborne, so Welsh Government should be doing everything they can to ensure cleaner air in schools. But this should not mean the introduction of potentially very dangerous machines when other methods of air purification are already tried, tested – and much more cost-effective.