COVID-19 and Air Pollution: A Lethal Combination

City pollution

Over the past two months, economic lockdowns put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 have reduced air pollution worldwide. Now, another link between COVID-19 and air pollution has emerged, this time less positive. According to new research from Harvard, exposure to air pollution could be contributing to an increase in deaths from the disease. Here’s what you need to know about this new research and how you can reduce your exposure to harmful air pollution.


The Mortality Link Between COVID-19 and Air Pollution


The new research from Harvard found a strong link between elevated air pollution levels and the risk of dying from COVID-19. Amazingly, an increase of just one part per billion (PPB) is correlated with an 8 percent increased risk of COVID-19 mortality. This research was conducted by evaluating air pollution data and mortality rates from more than 3,000 US counties.


At first glance, it might appear that the link is purely one of correlation. After all, COVID-19 mortality and high levels of air pollution are both strongly associated with high population density. The results of the study, however, corrected for a range of factors which included population density and still found that higher air pollution levels were associated with a higher risk of COVID-19 death.


Does Anyone Know How Air Pollution Could Be Connected to COVID-19?


The jury is still out on just how higher levels of air pollution could be impacting COVID-19 death rates. Existing research had already linked air pollution to reduced immune function, a fact which could be a potential link. Higher rates of other diseases associated with air pollution exposure could also increase a patient’s risk of death when infected with COVID-19. As of now, though, more research is needed to establish how the connection between the two actually works.


Can You Reduce Your Air Pollution Exposure?


While controlling the spread of COVID-19 has proven extremely difficult, there are some practical steps you can take to limit your exposure to air pollution. First and foremost, it’s important to use a combination HEPA and carbon air purifier to capture both the gaseous and solid elements of air pollution. Some of the units we recommend for dealing with common air pollution problems include:



In addition to using proper air purification, you should also consider using your home’s indoor ventilation system as often as possible, since leaving your windows open can allow pollution from outside to come indoors. Re-circulating air in your home can keep you safer from air pollution, outdoor pollen and other impurities introduced from the outside.


Have questions about how you can use a home air purifier to reduce your exposure to pollution? We’re here to help! Feel free to contact us for answers and personalized product recommendations based on your unique needs.