Covid and smog, what relationship: what the data really say – RB

Covid and smog, which relationship: what the data really say – RB

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Covid and smog, which relationship: what the data really says – RB

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Covid and smog, what relationship: what the data really say – RB

The possibility is a link between the high concentration of smog in the city and the development of the Covid infection – 19 had emerged at the dawn of the pandemic to try to explain the boom in infections that in March 2020 overwhelmed above all Lombardy. Already a year after the beginning of the epidemic, various data supported this hypothesis and today the studies on the subject have been collected by the “Citizens for the air” association in an appeal presented to the Council of State against the plan for the reduction of pollutants atmospheric conditions of the Lombardy Region.

Covid and smog, what the data really say: the meta-analysis on the link

The goal of the non-profit organization is to carry out the mission of reducing smog and in support of their battle, scientific works on the effects that air pollution causes on our immune defenses, which would thus be more vulnerable to Covid – 19 ( here the latest updated picture with data on the epidemic in the regions).

The direct link between the disease caused by Sars-CoV-2 and the level of fine particles present in the air of cities was not immediately demonstrable, but a meta-analysis on the scientific literature published on the subject, produced by the German center “Helmholtz” , specialized in environmental research, would demonstrate that the link exists.

Taking into consideration 65 millions of cases and 264 thousand deaths, the German researchers concluded that there is a “significant association for mortality between nitrogen dioxide, Pm2.5 and Sars-CoV-2 from exposure to pollutants on an annual basis. For short-term exposure nitrogen dioxide is associated with the incidence of Sars-CoV-2 and influenza infections “.

The “Helmholtz” institute summarized the findings in an exemplary diagram that lists the key principles underlying the correlation:

air pollution can lower the immune system; exposure to air pollutants can lead to a state of chronic low level inflammation; pollution has been associated with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular and diabetes, which could make the immune system more exposed to viruses.

Covid and smog, which relationship: studies

All factors supported by other researches that argue that an organism for a long time under the effect of pollutants present in the air is more subject to the onset of respiratory diseases, such as that caused by coronaviruses (here the emblematic case of the former Ilva di Taranto).

“I can confirm, based on current scientific knowledge, that fine particulate matter has an effect on human health, both for short and long exposures, and that a high presence of particulate matter can significantly increase mortality from Covid infections – 19 “Wrote in April 2021 Andrea Pozzer at the head of the research group on atmospheric chemistry of the” Max-Planck Institut “, another German institution among the most important in $pe (here we talked about the case of a child who died of pollution in the UK, with an overview of the rest of the continent).

But the evidence also comes from studies carried out in our country, such as the work of the ISMN, the Institute for the study of nanostructured materials of the Italian CNR, in collaboration with the Grenoble institute of technology and the “E. Amaldi “who recently published a research entitled:” Analysis of the chemical-physical environmental aspects that favored the spread of Sars-CoV-2 in the Lombardy area “.

” The results obtained show a good correlation between the onset of symptoms from Covid – 19 , air pollution and climatic conditions recorded in Lombardy between February and March 2020 – explained Roberto Dragone, Cnr-Ismn researcher. Among the possible mechanisms attributable to atmospheric chemical pollutants, the sensitization of the organism to the viral attack due to lowering of the immune defenses cannot be excluded “.