Air Quality and COVID-19

Air Quality and COVID-19

How does indoor air quality impact COVID-19 transmission?

As the weather gets colder and people are spending more time indoors, healthcare professionals and engineers believe that indoor air purifiers could play a role in helping protect your family from COVID-19.

Air purifiers are not a cure-all, CDC guidelines should be closely followed regarding hand washing, social distancing, and face masks. However, personal air purifiers for your home or office may offer an additional layer of protection when used in conjunction with these other recommended precautions.

It is widely accepted that the coronavirus can spread in multiple ways. It is unclear how much droplets, and contaminated surfaces, compared to aerosolized particles are responsible for contributing to the transmission of COVID-19. Yet, according to the technical lead for WHO (World Health Organization), the probability of airborne transmission especially in specific conditions, such as closed, and poorly ventilated indoor settings — cannot be ruled out. More about this can be read at the WHO’s scientific briefing.

Can air purifiers provide an additional layer of protection by removing a percentage of virus particles from the air?

Air Quality and COVID-19

At first air filters were not thought to be very effective at removing the virus from the air since COVID-19 particles are too small for a HEPA filter to reliably catch. However, when these micro-droplets are exhaled by a human they are embedded in saliva and mucus, in fact, the virus cannot live in the air without this protective coating. Thankfully, this also makes the virus particles significantly larger and easily filtered out by quality air purifiers. Recent tests indicate the use of indoor air purifiers can decrease concentrations of virus particles in the air, thus providing a clear benefit by reducing the potential for exposure.

Learn more about the best air purifier for you by taking advantage of in-depth research and reviews in this comprehensive guide from Consumers Advocate. Remember that personal air purifiers also filter out allergens, dust, and chemicals. Although a quality air purifier can be expensive. In this case, the potential benefits outweigh the costs. Think of it as a healthcare tool and investment in your health and future. Indoor air quality is important, and with the additional threat that COVID-19 poses, it is better to be safe than sorry. Schedule a home air quality test from Environmental Doctor and make a plan to improve your indoor air quality today!

2 Parents Die of Accidental Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

A Family Tragedy: Parents Die of Accidental CO Poisoning

Two recent deaths in Missouri serve as tragic examples for the need to have a carbon monoxide detector installed in the home and to be sure that it works.

The AP reported that 44-year-old Lisa Feltrop and 51-year-old Troy Feltrop died from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning after a car was left running in an enclosed garage, filling the house with fumes.

Their 14 year old daughter was taken to the hospital and survived.

Police investigation ruled the deaths as accidental.

A Community in Mourning

Helias Catholic High School, where Troy and Lisa’s son, Kyle Feltrop, was a student, posted a message of condolence on their Facebook page following the tragedy: “Our hearts are heavy and prayers are lifted for the tragedy in the Troy, Lisa, Kyle and Savanah Feltrop family. Troy passed away this morning, Lisa and Savanah are hospitalized.” (Lisa died of her injuries two days later).

Sandy Hentges, Helias’ director of communications and admissions, told the News Tribune counselors will be made available for “anyone who needs it.”

Air Quality Tests Reveal Dusty Conditions in Classrooms

Even without the presence of mold, air quality tests may still reveal dusty conditions that can be hazardous to your health.

While mold testing at several Manchester Elementary School in Maine did not indicate the presence of mold, air quality tests showed high levels of dust in several classrooms. The stage area was closed immediately, to be reopened after the problem is remediated and cleaned.

“If (Air Quality Management) thinks something needs to be done immediately, we’ll do it,” Superintendent Donna Wolfrom told the Morning Sentinel.

The school underwent mold testing following parent and community complaints that the district wasn’t doing enough to combat the mold.

The report indicated “no significant evidence of mold exposure of concern or atypical mold levels for each location sampled.”

Four classrooms were determined to be dusty.  The stage area was closed as a proactive move “err on the side of most caution,” Randy Geoffroy, owner of the Gray-based Air Quality Management, told the Morning Sentinel.

Anxious Parents Await Results

“I am anxiously awaiting the results from Monday’s testing and am hopeful they will show no areas of concern,” Jeremy Payne, a parent and outspoken critic of the district’s handling of the problem, told the Morning Sentinel. “I’m also relieved we will finally determine the school’s safety and the well-being of students, teachers and staff.”

Mold’s Potential Health Risks

The EPA points out that allergic reactions to mold are quite common. Sometimes these symptoms can be immediate. In other cases, they are delayed. “Molds can trigger asthma episodes in sensitive individuals with asthma. People with asthma should avoid contact with or exposure to molds,” the EPA warns.

According to the EPA, adverse reactions to mold include:

“Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions) and irritants. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash.”

If mold testing reveals the presence of mold, a professional mold removal is pertinent to ensure the health of all occupants.