Background: The questioned link between air pollution and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreading or related mortality represents a hot topic that has immediately been regarded in the light of divergent views. A first “school of thought” advocates that what matters are only standard epidemiological variables (i.e. frequency of interactions in proportion of the viral charge). A second school of thought argues that co-factors such as quality of air play an important role too. Methods: We analyzed available literature concerning the link between air quality, as measured by different pollutants and a number of COVID-19 outcomes, such as number of positive cases, deaths, and excess mortality rates. We reviewed several studies conducted worldwide and discussing many different methodological ap-proaches aimed at investigating causality associations. Results: Our paper reviewed the most recent empirical researches documenting the existence of a huge evidence produced worldwide concerning the role played by air pollution on health in general and on COVID-19 outcomes in particular. These results support both research hypotheses, i.e. long-term exposure effects and short-term consequences (including the hypothesis of particulate matter acting as viral “carrier”) according to the two schools of thought, respectively. Conclusions: The link between air pollution and COVID-19 outcomes is strong and robust as resulting from many different research methodologies. Policy implications should be drawn from a “rational” assessment of these findings as “not taking any action” represents an action itself.

Air quality and COVID-19 adverse outcomes: Divergent views and experimental findings

Conzo, Pierluigi;
2021

Abstract

Background: The questioned link between air pollution and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreading or related mortality represents a hot topic that has immediately been regarded in the light of divergent views. A first “school of thought” advocates that what matters are only standard epidemiological variables (i.e. frequency of interactions in proportion of the viral charge). A second school of thought argues that co-factors such as quality of air play an important role too. Methods: We analyzed available literature concerning the link between air quality, as measured by different pollutants and a number of COVID-19 outcomes, such as number of positive cases, deaths, and excess mortality rates. We reviewed several studies conducted worldwide and discussing many different methodological ap-proaches aimed at investigating causality associations. Results: Our paper reviewed the most recent empirical researches documenting the existence of a huge evidence produced worldwide concerning the role played by air pollution on health in general and on COVID-19 outcomes in particular. These results support both research hypotheses, i.e. long-term exposure effects and short-term consequences (including the hypothesis of particulate matter acting as viral “carrier”) according to the two schools of thought, respectively. Conclusions: The link between air pollution and COVID-19 outcomes is strong and robust as resulting from many different research methodologies. Policy implications should be drawn from a “rational” assessment of these findings as “not taking any action” represents an action itself.
193
110556
110556
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935120314535
covid-19, pollution, quality of air, mortality
Becchetti, Leonardo; Beccari, Gabriele; Conzo, Gianluigi; Conzo, Pierluigi; De Santis, Davide; Salustri, Francesco
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1767966
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 22
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 19
social impact