COVID-19 Immunopathology, Particle Pollution, and Iron Balance

Main Article Content

Mark Whiteside
J. Marvin Herndon


The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic exploded into a world already reeling from climate change, degradation of natural systems, and pandemics of air pollution and noncommunicable diseases. These pandemics are interrelated; air pollution, the world’s biggest killer, is a major contributor to noncommunicable disease. Air pollution is a probable cofactor in the spread and severity of COVID-19. There are shared mechanisms of injury by the emerging COVID-19 immunopathology, ultrafine air pollutants, and chronic degenerative disease. A key feature of each is oxidative stress, including that caused by iron dysregulation. Exogenous combustion-derived magnetite nanoparticles found in human brains and hearts are strongly implicated in the development of cardiometabolic and neurogenerative disease. Altered iron balance favoring excess reactive or misplaced iron is probably the most important predisposing condition for severe COVID-19 infection. Ultrafine-particle/nanoparticle toxicity and COVID-19 immunopathology on the subcellular level are both characterized by iron dysregulation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Primary sources of the most damaging ultrafine pollution particles are fossil fuel combustion, vehicle emissions, and coal fly ash utilized in undisclosed tropospheric aerosol geoengineering. The same ultrafine particles when emitted or placed into the troposphere alter the world’s cloud layers and reduce atmospheric convection, directly contributing to climate change and global warming. Pandemics can only be tackled by international cooperation. Immediate steps that must be taken include monitoring and control of ultrafine particulate air pollution, and prompt cessation of geoengineering operations.

Virology, pandemic, cardiology, hematology, aerosols, coal fly ash, particulate air pollution, magnetite, nanoparticles, geoengineering.

Article Details

How to Cite
Whiteside, M., & Herndon, J. M. (2020). COVID-19 Immunopathology, Particle Pollution, and Iron Balance. Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research, 32(18), 43-60.
Review Article


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