It is not news that smoking is bad for your health. Similarly, it would be hard to find anyone today who doesn’t understand the link between air pollution and disease.
But as we watch the rapid-fire spread of coronavirus around the world, it is definitely time for a refresher course in why bad air is so dangerous. In fact, when you factor in COVID-19, it now appears that bad air can literally be deadly.
In this timely post, find out what the link is between bad air and coronavirus and how you can take action to limit your risk.
The Link Between Bad Air and COVID-19
To understand the link between bad air and COVID-19, you first need to understand what makes this new novel coronavirus so deadly.
The major symptoms of COVID-19 are as follows:
- shortness of breath
- pneumonia (in both lungs)
- secondary infection (lungs, kidneys)
The moment the coronavirus gets past the respiratory gatekeepers, it heads straight for the lungs.
The healthier your lungs are if and when you are infected with coronavirus, the higher the likelihood your body will be able to fight off COVID-19.
If your lungs are already damaged, scarred or infected with another respiratory illness, you are going to have a much harder time fighting COVID-19.
This is not to say that if you smoke now or have smoked in the past you are automatically going to get the coronavirus. But it is a call to actively protect your lung health in every way you can, which includes cleaning up your indoor air.
What Science Has to Say About Combustion, Smoking and COVID-19 Cases
A recent Washington Post article outlined a scary new hypothesis that is just now coming together in the international health community.
The researchers are using three measures to identify the group of people who are at highest risk of contracting COVID-19:
- looking at data from the 2003 SARS outbreak
- looking at data from the 2014 MERS outbreak
- identifying the areas in China that have been hardest hit by COVID-19
By searching for any association between patients from each outbreak, the researchers have discovered that smokers and people living in areas with extremely poor air quality were uniformly more likely to become infected.
This Is Your Lungs on Coronavirus
Your lungs do a lot more for you than just inhale and exhale air. There are tiny cells inside your lungs called alveolar macrophages.
These cells are like tiny air purifiers and filters. Their job is to make sure any bacteria, microbial particulates and other germs that come into your lungs in the air you breathe don’t make it any further into your body.
But if your alveolar macrophages are already working overtime filtering out volatile organic compounds, combustion byproducts and inorganic carbon particulates, they may already be too damaged to mount a good defence.
Even if your macrophages are still in basically good working order, they will not be as readily available to fight off COVID-19 if you are breathing in toxic air with every breath you take.
Clean Up Your Air Supply to Help Your Lungs Fight Coronavirus
If you smoke or vape, now is definitely the right time to cross that habit off your list – and not just for your own safety and health, but also for your family’s well-being.
But what can you do if you live in a geographic area where the air just isn’t that great? You can’t just up and move.
Luckily, modern technology has given us several indoor air quality aids that both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers) endorse as aids to fight coronavirus transmission.
The CDC and ASHRAE are recommending three specific methods for cleaning the air to limit the spread of coronavirus:
- UV purification
Using Ventilation, Filtration and UV Purification to Clean the Air
Ventilation, filtration and UV purification have always been key components of maintaining indoor air quality.
However, they are more important now than they have ever been, as our air quality gets worse and coronavirus continues to spread.
Ventilation: how it works
Outdoors, ventilation happens naturally. But indoors, the only way ventilation can occur is through natural cracks or when you open a door or window.
A heat recovery ventilator is literally a set of mechanical lungs for your home or workplace.
Just like your body’s lungs, a heat recovery ventilator breathes in fresh air through one channel and breathes out stale air through a separate channel.
This process keeps stale air from contaminating fresh air and removes toxins permanently.
Filtration: how it works
A filter is a device that removes unwelcome solid particles from the air. These particles may be cigarette ash, pollen, dust mites, pet dander or coronavirus germs.
But since coronavirus germs in particular can be quite tiny, not just any filter will do to combat the threat of COVID-19.
You need a special kind of filter called a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. A HEPA air filter can trap and remove toxins as small as 1/100th the size of a single hair on your head.
UV purification: how it works
Outdoors, the sun produces very strong light bands called ultraviolet light. UV light is the most powerful purifier on the planet.
The only way to bring this type of purifying power indoors is through a UV air purifier.
This type of purifier produces synthetic UV light that neutralizes any organic threats, including coronavirus germs, by changing their molecular structure.
Get in Touch
You don’t have to wait to start cleaning up your indoor air. Let us help you add ventilation, filtration and purification to your home or workplace.
Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470.