Coronavirus and Atmospheric Pollution

12/04/2021

Is there a correlation between atmospheric pollution and Covid-19, between atmospheric particulate matter and viruses? Could 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? There are many studies in progress 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 Ministry of Health website).

The AIE webinar: the materials

The Air Pollution and COVID-19 webinar was held on 23 June 2020, organized in collaboration with the Italian Association of Epidemiology (AIE) and is part of the CCM2018 program of the "RIAS" Ministry of Health. 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 studies.

Two 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 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's being published in the Italian journal: Epidemiologia&Prevenzione

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 advanced by the studies is therefore that pollution is not an element that facilitates the entry of the virus into the body, but rather an additional risk factor, like hypertension, diabetes and obesity, which can increase susceptibility to infection or aggravate the symptoms of Covid-19.

Original by: Ars Toscana - Agenzia Regionale di Sanità