As COVID-19 continues to dominate our lives, scientists are working nonstop to understand all they can about the virus.
Air pollution increases our risk of severe symptoms
Study after study shows the death rate and severity of illness is linked to our environment, specifically exposure to air pollution. Scientists from the US, China and Italy all came to the same conclusion, when it comes to COVID-19, people living in heavily polluted areas fair much worse than those living in cleaner spaces.
UK study finds air pollution and poor housing affect severity of illness
This theory has been further substantiated by a team from Birmingham University in the UK. They investigated why minorities are more likely to die from COVID-19 than other groups. They found that air pollution, poor quality housing and overcrowding all contribute to an increased risk of becoming seriously ill, being admitted to ICU and dying from complications of the virus. Often minorities live in poorer conditions, and it is this, the team believes, that contributes to the disproportionate number of deaths.
Social inequality in the US affects death rate
If we look closer to home, the pattern is the same. According to APM Research Labs Black Americans are 3.8 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than White Americans. This quote from APM really drives the point home.
‘If they had died of COVID-19 at the same actual rate as Whites, about 16,000 Blacks, 2,200 Latinos and 400 Indigenous Americans would still be alive.’
Air pollution makes us more vulnerable
So why is our environment and the conditions we live in affecting our chances of becoming severely ill? We know that long term exposure to air pollution puts stress on our heart and respiratory system. Perhaps this is making us more vulnerable and therefore more likely to experience the severe symptoms of COVID-19 that can lead to loss of life.
Italian study finds virus is transported by pollution particles
In another study, this time from Bergamo in Northern Italy, scientists have been looking at other ways air pollution can affect the spread of COVID-19. They found evidence to suggest that the virus itself can be transported on particles of pollution. Further research is needed but catching a ride on Particulate Matter (PM) in this way, could help the virus to circulate further and faster in areas where pollution levels are high.
Our respiratory health has never been more important
Whether it’s increasing our risk of becoming seriously ill or helping the virus to travel, air pollution has a major part to play. Removing pollutants from the environment and looking after our respiratory health has never been more important.
For the ultimate protection, we recommend the Austin Air Bedroom Machine
If you’re concerned about the quality of air in your home or work place, we recommend the Austin Air Bedroom Machine. With its 5-stage filtration system, the Bedroom Machine offers the ultimate protection against pollutants such as chemicals, gases, VOC’s, dust, allergens and dander. The HEPA technology used in all our units also effectively removes 95% of airborne viruses that are 0.1 microns and larger. And for extra protection, the HEGA carbon cloth used in the Bedroom Machine also captures and destroys airborne viruses. If you would like to learn more about the Austin Air Bedroom Machine, follow this link.