There are many conflicting opinions on the behaviour of coronavirus particles. Some scientists say that the virus can survive for a mere minutes when airborne, others say it can linger for up to three hours. Some advocate the use of face masks; others believe they could simply make us all more complacent. However, until recently, studies had focused on the behaviour of coronavirus in an unpolluted environment. The fact of the matter is that this simply does not apply to the air in and around our towns and cities. Pollutants such as Nitrogen Dioxide or fine dust particles are significantly larger than those which make up ‘clean’ air. As such, one could assume that a larger particle offers a larger platform for the virus to hold onto and therefore increases the ability of the virus to linger in the air.
A recent experiment undertaken by air-quality research start-up, Airly, has identified a direct correlation between air pollution and coronavirus infection rates. They noted both the size of the pollutant particles but also the ability of specific pollutants such as PM2.5 to penetrate and accumulate in the lungs. Therefore, in industrial areas or cities the virus may be able to linger in the air for longer but may also be able to get into our bodies and stay there much easier. If we consider Italy as an example, it may be no coincidence that the virus centred on Lombardi, the wealthiest but also the most built-up and industrial region of the country. Moreover, mini-epicentres emerging in London and New York cannot simply be down to the larger populations in these areas.
It is no surprise to hear that pollution in the air is harmful to our health but this latest discovery may have much more worrying implications. Viruses that have the impact of Covid-19 are deemed ‘once in a century’ but, if our air becomes more dense with pollutants, could this mean that the inevitable viruses which come and go will be much more lethal and that devastation on the scale we are currently witnessing will become a common occurrence?
If we needed yet another reason to make radical changes to the way we live, Covid-19 has definitely been a serious reality check. As governments scramble to deal with what is happening in the present, at some point they will need to consider how to prevent this happening again. If these early studies are correct, then improving air quality and reducing the presence of these alien particles in our environment could be one answer.
With that said, it is not just down to governments to make these changes. As we have said before on this blog, changes made by you, your family or your business can have just as big an impact. Switching to electric is a responsible choice that you can make and we are here to make that switch as easy as possible.
At Brite, we are incredibly passionate about improving air quality and working towards a greener world. If you are considering making changes to the way you live and want to talk to our experts about how this can be done, please get in touch with us. A member of our technical team would be happy to talk to you answer any questions that you have. Call us on 0141 280 8890 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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