Are TGVs “traveling clusters” of Covid-19? The Rhône labor inspectorate points in any case “insufficient air renewal“in trains, in a report unveiled Thursday by Mediapart. SNCF reacted on Friday, saying that it applies”with the greatest rigor“the health instructions. The report was produced after the” right of alert for serious and imminent danger “exercised by the SUD-Rail union.
According to this document, the levels of C02, indicator of renewal and air quality, reached on May 12 on the floor of a car of a TGV Lyon-Montpellier. on average 1,380 parts per million (unit of measurement of the rate of pollution in the air), with a peak at 4,200 ppm after a shutdown. According to the labor inspectorate, “readings show values above 880 ppm over the entire path“.
Mediapart emphasizes that the High Council of Public Health has set at 880 ppm C02 the threshold not to be exceeded in enclosed spaces open to the public.
SNCF “applies with the utmost rigor all health instructions”
SNCF defends itself this Friday by explaining that the recommendations of the High Council do not concern rail transport. The regulations set the level at 5,000 ppm. “TGV equipment is designed to maintain a CO2 level between 1,000 and 1,500 ppm“, underlines the railway company, which recalls that”the recycled air constantly undergoes mechanical, hygrometric and thermal treatment which makes it possible to reduce the rate of viral particles diffused by aerosolization“.
SNCF also ensures that “with the utmost rigor all the instructions and rules of the health authorities, in terms of ventilation or filtration of the air on board trains, as it enforces the wearing of a mask“. But TGVs are not equipped with high performance filters, unlike airplanes, reveals Mediapart.
A disinfection problem
The report also points “the lack of traceability of the disinfection carried out on board”. The labor inspectorate stresses that a seat can be “reassigned to another passenger“after the departure of the previous customer”without any disinfection“between the two. According to her, travelers wear their masks just as little or badly.
It therefore concludes by retaining “a risk of exposure of the agents on board“and customers with coronavirus,”in the absence of effective measures allowing the respect of barrier gestures” and D'”efficient air renewal“.
The Federal Secretary of SUD-Rail says “not be catastrophic, nor empty the TGV“, or “there are no clusters, no more risks than in an RER or a supermarket“. “The heart of our approach is the health of employees on board “, underlined Erik Meyer, because according to him, “management does not take the necessary preventive measures“. The union is demanding in particular FFP2 masks for the controllers.
Asked about CNews, Jean-Baptiste Djebarri wants to reassure him: “The figures we have, for more than a year and a half now, show that public transport (…) are not priority places of propagation“. Studies are still underway.