Air polution increases the risk of respiratory problems that can be fatal for coronavirus patients
According to a recent Guardian article, recent studies have shown that Air pollution is linked to significantly higher rates of death in people with Covid-19.
US scientists' research shows that even a small, single-unit, increase in particle pollution levels in the years before the pandemic is associated with a 15% increase in the death rate in the respective area. Their findings suggest that if Manhattan had slightly cleaner air, it would have let to hundreds of saved lives.
Given the large differences in toxic air levels across countries, the research suggests people in polluted areas are far more likely to die from the coronavirus than those living in cleaner areas. Dirty air is already known to increase the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome, an extremely deadly condition and known cause of Covid-19-related deaths.
A small increase in exposure to particle pollution over 15-20 years was already known to increase the risk of death from all causes, but the new work shows this increase is 20 times higher for Covid-19 deaths.
A separate report from scientists in Italy notes that the high death rates seen in the north of the country correlate with the highest levels of air pollution.