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What is the Relationship Between Air Pollution and Covid-19?

Posted on August 17, 2020
by Vinay Panday

As coronavirus numbers continue to rise, many discussions and studies have taken place to determine contributing factors that possibly increase or slow the spread. One of the latest studies is a joint study with researchers from the Public Health Institute, a nonprofit health organization, and the University of California, San Francisco. Funded by the California Air Resources Board, the study is the first statewide study analyzing the relationship between air pollution and the virus.

Gina Solomon, a principal investigator at the Public Health Institute and the project’s lead researcher, recently stated that …” Air quality is a concern in many, many parts of California and, interestingly enough, in many of the same areas where we’re seeing high rates of COVID.”

Another study out of the Taipei Medical University in Taiwan claims that people are more likely to contract coronavirus in areas with bad air pollution because particulate matter may absorb and ‘carry’ the virus, traveling and lingering in the air for hours or even days. Particulate matter is a mix of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air and is created from sources that include traffic, construction sites, unpaved roads, fields and fires.

As California’s wildfire season runs through November, there will be concerns about the levels of air pollutions and particulate matter as it relates to COVID. Will the wildfires and subsequent smoke have an effect on the spread of coronavirus? There is still much to learn, but the information to date serves as an important reminder to stay safe and follow all health and safety precautions to decrease your exposure.

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