Air pollution may be key contributor to COVID-19 deaths

High air pollution could be one of the most important factors in deaths from coronavirus disease. This is indicated by a new study that analyzes what happened in 66 administrative regions in Italy, Spain, France and Germany, and which concludes that 78.5% of deaths from this disease occurred in only five regions, precisely those with more polluted air.

This research examined the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a pollutant produced largely by diesel vehicles, as well as the climatic conditions of air dispersion in these areas, by using satellite images.

These results indicate that long-term exposure to high levels of NO2 may be one of the most important contributors to mortality caused by the COVID-19 virus in these regions and, perhaps worldwide, the study’s conclusions indicate.

However, the analysis shows an association but not a direct causal link. It is now necessary to examine whether the presence of an initial inflammatory condition is related to the immune system response to the coronavirus.

Link to the paper: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138605

Editorial Disclaimer: information published during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic may be updated frequently to reflect the dynamic nature of current understanding.

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