As more research data becomes available about the new novel coronavirus, aka CoV-SARS-2, we learn more about the link between air quality and risk of COVID-19 infection.
In fact, just this week, not one but two new research studies were fast-tracked into publication because of their relevance to addressing the current pandemic.
In each study, researchers stated that social distancing and handwashing alone are far from sufficient to protect against COVID-19 infection. Their reasoning is simple, yet until now it was overlooked.
The new novel coronavirus can be transmitted through the air.
Yes, this statement flies in the face of current World Health Organization (WHO) guidance. However, researchers and air quality experts on three continents (China, Australia, North America) agree that COVID-19 can be spread via airborne transmission.
Can it or can’t it? Do you want to wait and see who is right? Or do you want to take action to protect yourself?
How COVID-19 Goes Airborne
The first article was written by Chinese researchers who studied the original COVID-19 outbreak in the city of Guangzhou in China. This article was published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The researchers concluded that it was the restaurant’s air conditioning ventilation system that spread germs from one asymptomatic diner to nine other diners who were seated more than one metre away.
The second article was written by Australian researchers who studied the 2003 SARS outbreak and several other viral outbreaks in our recent history. This second article was published through ScienceDirect in Environmental International Journal.
These researchers also concluded that COVID-19, like the other coronaviruses before it, could be spread through the air.
It is true that the initial coronavirus droplets are heavy as they are breathed or sneezed out. But soon the droplets start to evaporate. This makes them lighter. Lighter droplets can linger in the air and travel greater distances.
For this reason, the researchers concluded that simply practising social distancing and handwashing is far from sufficient to protect against COVID-19 infection.
3 Keys to Stopping Airborne COVID-19
A few weeks ago, we didn’t even know if wearing face masks served any purpose. We know now that face masks have at least some protective benefit, although they do a better job of protecting others from us than protecting us from others.
So if social distancing, handwashing, and face masks alone are not enough protection, what else can be done to limit risk of exposure?
Thanks to the Canadian, Chinese, and Australian research teams, we now have more information than we did about how COVID-19 spreads. And the more information we have, the more protection we can put into place.
1. COVID-19 uses a liquid medium to spread
With airborne toxins, the first key is to identify what medium they use to spread. In other words, are they solids (particles), gases, or liquids?
In the case of the new novel coronavirus (CoV-SARS-2), the virus germs spread via liquid. Knowing this coronavirus uses a liquid transmission method points us toward ultraviolet light as the best purification method.
Viruses are strange organisms. They are made of organic material, but they aren’t alive. Once the thin outer membrane that surrounds the viral code gets damaged, the virus can’t replicate and infect you.
Ultraviolet light band C can degrade the outer membrane of coronavirus particles and neutralize its impact.
Today’s ultraviolet light purification systems use a synthetic form of shortwave UV-C light that can damage and neutralize these airborne particles so they can’t harm you.
Both central (ducted) and portable (ductless) UV air purification units are available.
2. COVID-19 uses forced air systems to travel
When working with airborne toxins, the second key is to identify what means they use to travel. Previously, we thought the liquid particles were so heavy they could travel only short distances before settling on surfaces, be those doorknobs or shirtsleeves.
But now we know the germs can become lighter over time and rise up, catch airwaves, and ride those waves to spread farther.
We also now know that forced-air HVAC and ventilation systems help the lightweight liquid airborne germs travel to greater distances and infect more and more people.
This information points us to duct cleaning and improved indoor air ventilation as key methods to reduce risk.
Heat recovery ventilation systems separate incoming fresh air and outgoing toxic air to ensure any airborne coronavirus particles get exhausted to the outside rather than continuing to circulate inside your space.
Indoor air duct cleaning services can go one step further to clean and sanitize the entire network of ducts, clearing out additional trapped toxins that can compromise lung and immune system function and lower resistance to COVID-19.
3. COVID-19 is more deadly in the presence of dirty air
The third key when working to stop airborne toxins is to identify existing conditions that can make their impact worse.
A couple of weeks ago, we shared breaking news from another research study showing that dirty air makes COVID-19 deadlier.
When the air we are breathing is already contaminated with toxic gases, solids, and liquids, our lungs have less ability to fight off serious secondary symptoms of COVID-19 like pneumonia.
This information points us toward HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filtration, which is the best method on the planet to filter out toxic particles before they can enter our lungs and cause harm.
Both central (ducted) and portable (ductless) HEPA filtration units are available.
Get in Touch
Indoor air quality has been deemed an essential service during this time of sheltering in place.
We are working closely with our sister company, Shipton’s Heating and Cooling, to provide you with the very latest in HVAC and indoor air quality technology and service.
If we can help you in any way, just give us a call at 905-549-2470 or visit us online.