Protect Yourself from the Deadly Link Between Pollutants, Coronavirus Particles and Your Lungs
While most of the world has watched in horror at the pace of the new novel coronavirus, researchers have been working furiously to identify how it spreads and how to stop it.
We are desperately searching for answers to protect ourselves, reduce our risk, slow the spread, limit contact and do everything possible to eradicate the coronavirus itself.
Slowly but surely, what we are now learning is helping to slow the spread in some areas. Sometimes, we learn by what WE do wrong. Other times, we learn by studying what OTHERS have done wrong.
In the case of aerosol coronavirus transmission, we have only recently even discovered this is possible!
Once researchers learned that the earliest cases of COVID-19 could be traced back to the air ducts at the original Guangzhou, China, restaurant, the whole focus of research shifted.
In this post, learn what we now know about the deadly link between pollutants, coronavirus particles and your lungs.
Key Ways Air Pollution Worsens Risk of COVID-19
It makes some amount of common sense that anyone who has existing respiratory issues or immune system issues might be more vulnerable to catching any serious illness, including COVID-19.
But what has been most confusing about the new novel coronavirus is figuring out how it spreads.
Numerous research studies now link air pollution to areas where the number of COVID-19 cases are higher.
Who is most at risk of getting a severe or fatal case of COVID-19?
1. People who already have compromised heart and/or lung function due to a pre-existing respiratory condition and/or ongoing exposure to polluted air.
2. People who live in areas with high levels of air pollution, which can weaken and inflame even healthy lungs.
3. People who live in areas where air pollution is considerable. Coronavirus particles may be able to “hitch a ride” on pollution particles in order to travel longer distances.
What Works to Contain the Risk of Contracting COVID-19?
As some countries begin to see results from stay at home orders and other safety measures, this gives researchers the chance to study what is working and what is not.
We now have the ability to start identifying things that seem to work best.
These are the three best-known safety measures that appear to help limit the risk of getting COVID-19:
- Social Distancing
- Use of PPE (personal protective equipment)
- Hand Washing and Hand Sanitizer
Now, researchers are giving us three other safety measures that might just be equally as effective and vital:
- Breathing Clean Air
- Lung and Heart Health
- Air Ventilation
What can you do right now to start incorporating these three new safety measures into your daily routine at home and while working?
4 Tips to Clean Up Your Air
There is no doubt that the outdoor air in most areas has become cleaner and clearer due to stay at home orders.
As it turns out, sheltering in place isn’t just good for our health. It is also good for our planet and its air supply.
Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given us ample proof that most of us are living with far more toxicity in our indoor air than anything we might find outdoors.
Plus, our indoor air toxins are more concentrated and we are exposed to them for far longer periods of time each day.
So, where you really need to start cleaning up your air supply is in your home and workplace. These four tips can help you achieve that goal in both places:
1. Bring in the houseplants!
As NASA has verified, houseplants are excellent at cleaning the air. This is because houseplants “breathe in” the carbon dioxide that we breathe out.
Houseplants breathe out oxygen, helping to improve air quality and ease the burden on our lungs.
Read our recommendations for the top 10 houseplants for improving your indoor air.
2. Keep your air filters squeaky clean.
You may have read advice on how to limit how often you handle or change your air filter right now, due to concerns about catching COVID-19. This, however, is not a great strategy.
A clogged air filter reduces ventilation, which is one of the key methods of diffusing aerosol (lightweight airborne) coronavirus particles before they can infect you.
3. Consider installing an ultraviolet air purifier.
If you’ve been keeping up with COVID-19 news, you’ve probably seen and heard multiple references to ultraviolet light.
In a move some scientists call “bringing sunlight indoors,” researchers are investigating multiple uses for powerful artificial UV light in order to reduce the risk of virus transmission.
UV air purifiers for homes and workplaces can bring some of that same power into your home or office space, damaging coronavirus particles so that they cannot infect you.
Both portable and central (ducted) units are available.
4. Add the power of HEPA filtration.
HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) technology is definitely the best method of removing airborne particles that could help coronavirus droplets hitch a ride to travel farther and infect more people.
HEPA filtration has long been a staple in the healthcare industry, especially in hospitals, urgent care clinics and laboratories where the risk of airborne toxins is high.
Most residential and many commercial HVAC systems are not built to handle the intensely dense HEPA air filters.
However, you can add a standalone HEPA filtration unit that won’t overload your HVAC blower motor and will still do the hard work of filtering out even microscopic airborne toxins.
Get in Touch
Indoor air quality has been deemed an essential service throughout this difficult time. Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we are working remotely but are still open to serve you safely with many contact-less options. We offer both portable and central (ducted) units and are ready to provide you with the heating and cooling systems in Kingston, London, Hamilton, Burlington and surrounding areas.
Give us a call at 1-905-549-2470 or visit us online for more information on both residential and commercial heating and cooling systems.