Coronavirus and Atmospheric Pollution


Is there a correlation between atmospheric pollution and Covid-19, between atmospheric particulate matter and viruses? Can exposure to air pollution, both chronic and acute, have an effect on the likelihood of contagion, the onset of symptoms and the course of the coronavirus disease caused by SARS-CoV-2? Many studies are underway and the positions of scientists differ.

The study of the University of Catania and the study of Harvard University. 

Two studies, one from the University of Catania and one from the American University of Harvard, correlate fine particles with Covid-19 infections. The president of the Higher Council of Health (Css), Franco Locatelli, in recent months highlighted that the correlation between fine particles and mortality from Covid-19 is an important information that helps to better define the scenario of risk factors and relative to two studies specified that these are important studies to be taken into due consideration, but that we cannot yet draw definitive conclusions (read the news on the website of the Ministry of Health).

The AIE webinar: the materialsOn June 23, 2020, the webinar Air pollution and COVID-19 was held, organized in collaboration with the Italian Association of Epidemiology (AIE) and is part of the CCM2018 program of the Ministry of Health "RIAS". With an interdisciplinary approach, the issues of biological plausibility, available evidence and methodological aspects in the field of environmental epidemiology were addressed. Consult the webinar materials (slides and Q&A). Air quality, biological mechanisms and Covid-19: the two Italian scientific studiesTwo important scientific papers on the relationship between Covid-19 and air pollution are being published in prestigious journals. Both articles are the result of Arpae's collaboration with the University of Bologna (Department of Diagnostic and Experimental Specialized Medicine) and with Public Health England (Center for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards) and represent an important contribution to the ongoing discussion. for months on the importance of air quality in the severity of the disease caused by the Sars-Cov-2 virus.

The first article entitled The secretive liaison of particulate matter and Sars-Cov-2. A hypothesis and theory investigation was published in the international journal Frontiers in Genetics. The second article, entitled Environmental pollution and Covid-19: the molecular terms and predominant disease outcomes of their sweetheart agreement, is currently being published in the Italian journal Epidemiologia & Prevention.

Both describe the results and the analysis of in vitro studies carried out in Bologna on the molecular response of human cells to exposure to atmospheric particulate matter: these studies have allowed us to hypothesize the mechanism by which high levels of PM in the air can contribute to the worsening of clinical conditions of people infected with Sars-Cov-2 (and more generally with respiratory viruses), especially in correlation with other previous pathologies. The hypothesis put forward by the studies is therefore that pollution is not an element that facilitates the entry of the virus into the body, but rather a further risk factor, like hypertension, diabetes and obesity, which can increase susceptibility to infection or aggravate the symptoms of Covid-19.

fonte: Ars Toscana - Agenzia Regionale di Sanità