Air pollution levels associated with coronavirus deaths, new study finds

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“If you’re exposed to a viral infection or a bacterial infection and at the same time are exposed to air pollution, that infection is more likely to become severe.”

air pollution 224 88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

air pollution 224 88

(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

Increased exposure to air pollution is associated with a greater risk of dying from coronavirus, a new study by the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry revealed, as reported by ProPublica.

The study found a connection between coronavirus mortality and exposure to hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). According to the study, an increase in the respiratory hazard index is associated with a 9% increase in coronavirus mortality.

The study’s model suggested that even at exposure levels below those expected to have an impact, increased chronic multi-air pollutant exposure is associated with higher coronavirus mortality rates.

The study was published in Environmental Research Letters on Friday and builds on prior research linking deaths from respiratory viruses to air pollution exposure.

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Researchers examined the connection between the 2014 National Air Toxics Assessment HAP respirator hazard quotient and respiratory hazard index and Coronavirus mortality.

Findings reinforce existing research linking air pollution to mortality and helped explain variation in US-based coronavirus mortality rates.

The study controlled for socioeconomic status, population health indicators, and exposure to PM2.5 and ozone.

“If you’re exposed to a viral infection or a bacterial infection and at the same time are exposed to air pollution, that infection is more likely to become severe,” Dr Michael Brauer, a professor of public health at the University of British Columbia, told ProPublica.

Israel’s population is exposed to levels of pollution that significantly exceed the target values, according to a report conducted by the Environmental Protection and Health ministries in January.

Racheli Wacks contributed to this report.

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