So far, it has been believed that about 45 thousand people a year in Poland die because of polluted air (World Health Organization data). However, recent studies show that as many as 23.8% of all deaths per year (or nearly 94,000) are caused by emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. This puts our Poland in the first place among the countries with the most polluted and ‘lethal’ air in Europe .
Polluted air weakens mucous membranes
What poses the greatest threat to our health is the so-called particulate matter (PM), which due to its small particle size penetrates the body, causing inflammation and illnesses of the respiratory and circulatory systems, as well as endocrine or neurological disorders. Doctors also find a link between air pollution and COVID-19 incidence. The high concentration of PM that causes damage to the nasopharyngeal mucosa promotes inflammation and reduces the body’s immune response to SARS-CoV-2. Severe air pollution is also one of the reasons for a higher incidence of lifestyle diseases, which, as the so-called comorbidities, intensify the course of coronavirus infection and increase the risk of complications and death .
Importantly, although we are used to thinking that smog is dangerous mainly in autumn and winter, it jeopardises our health also in summer. With temperatures around 30°C and winds not exceeding 2 m/s, especially over large cities, we can observe the formation of the so-called photochemical smog, in the form of brown haze. Also called ‘Los Angeles smog’, it forms when ambient temperatures are high and traffic is heavy, and is no less dangerous than the air pollution that occurs during the heating season. Its main components include chemically active organic compounds, carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NO2) and ozone (O3) .
How can you tell if you are breathing the ‘wrong’ air? One of the first negative and noticeable symptoms of poor air quality is the weakening and dryness of the mucous membranes of the nose and throat.
Symptoms of mucosal dryness:
- persistent itching
- frequent sneezing
- swelling and soreness of the mucous membranes
- decreased sense of smell and taste
- hard, dried mucus
- nasal bleeding
- a tickling or scratching sensation
- difficulty in swallowing and speaking
- frequent grunting and swallowing of saliva
- oral viscosity
- a feeling of retention of secretions on the throat wall
- a constant sore throat of slight intensity
First line of defence
Properly functioning mucous membranes form a natural barrier that makes it difficult for toxic substances and pathogens to enter the body. The mucus that coats them cleans the respiratory system of any unwanted ‘guests’, warms the air that travels to the bronchi and lungs, and prevents the invasion of viruses, bacteria and fungi. Dryness of the mucous membranes facilitates the expansion of pathogens and results in the susceptibility to viral infections and chronic inflammation of the upper respiratory tract.
Therefore, proper hydration and support of the mucosal defence functions are so important in maintaining homeostasis of the upper respiratory tract. Bloxivir, a new product in the form of nasal and oral sprays, which makes use of the properties of substances that not only takes care of the condition of mucous membranes, but also form a real antiviral ‘shield’ on them, may be helpful in this respect. These include:
- Carrageenan, which binds directly to the virus but does not bind to cells, thus stopping viruses and preventing migration into cells. Thus, carrageenan disrupts the life cycle of the virus at a very early stage due to its physical mechanism of action.
- Ectoine, which acts as a moisturizing and protective agent for the nasal mucosa.
- Sodium hyaluronate, which is a humectant, helps retain water, increases viscosity of the solution. Thanks to its mucoadhesive properties and ability to retain water, it gives the product adhesive properties to the mucous membrane, which prolongs the time of gel presence on the mucous membranes.
The combination of these substances in Bloxivir causes it to create a special film on the mucous membranes immediately after the application of the gel in the nasal spray or in the nasal and oral spray, which forms a barrier that prevents the viruses from penetrating the mucosal cells. The created barrier is a protective shield in the place where viruses penetrate into the cells of our body to multiply and cause the symptoms of infection.
Therefore, as part of virus prevention, it is worth using Bloxivir to protect oneself and others from the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections such as cold, flu or Sars-Cov-19.
 Vohra K., Vodonos A., Schwartz J., Marais E.A., Sulprizio M.P., Mickley J.P.: Global mortality from outdoor fine particle pollution generated by fossil fuel combustion: Results from GEOS-Chem. Environmental Research 2021: 195: 1-30.