Air pollutants intensified the Covid -19 pandemic. Low air quality makes the novel virus more lethal. Although this connection was no surprise to those familiar with air pollution science, the size of the impact is striking.
This Harvard University study has yet to be peer-reviewed for publication. However, the preliminary findings show tiny pollutant particles breathed over the long term sharply increase the risk of dying from the Covid-19 virus.
What Volume of Pollutants Make a Difference to the Virus?
The study covered 3,000 counties across the country that include 98% of the population. Countries with an average of only one more microgram per cubic meter in the air had 15% higher Covid-19 death rates.
This revelation has prompted immediate action.
Checking Air Quality for Pollutants in Health Establishments
Taking air samples collected in hospital rooms of Covid-19 patients, the International Journal of Infectious Diseases reports an analysis of the virus cultures.Viable virus cultures were isolated from the air samples collected between 2 and 4.8 m away from the patients. One patient was ready for discharge, while the other was newly admitted.
The study’s conclusions state that “patients with respiratory manifestations of COVID-19 produce aerosols in the absence of aerosol-generating procedures that contain viable SARS-CoV-2, and these aerosols may serve as a source of transmission of the virus.”
Teams in Quebec have checked air quality and ventilation in hospitals and residential and long-term care centers. Measurements of carbon dioxide levels then gave preliminary results considered conclusive and satisfactory.
By meeting prescribed levels of carbon dioxide, the buildings seem to have sufficient ventilation.
Checking Air Quality in Schools
So, now, the same testing will happen in schools.
According to information from the Ministry of Education, 60% of Quebec schools do not have a mechanical ventilation system installed. Consistent with the findings from the not yet peer-reviewed study from the Institute for Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt,0 the Quebec Ministry of Education has taken action.
Where ventilation is an issue, reparations will be scheduled quickly. Also, a committee of experts researched the ventilation and the spread of the Covid-19 virus in schools. The goal is to optimize mechanical ventilation systems in schools.
Liberal MP Marwah Rizqy has called for CO 2 detectors and portable air purifier installations in classrooms to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 as quickly as possible.
Breathing in pollutants creates an increased susceptibility to the Covid-19 virus, especially over the long-term. Also, by improving the air quality, the risk of contracting the novel virus reduces. Folk wisdom always knew breathing clean air was “good for you.” Now, we have measurable proof, at a critical time in our planet’s history.