Elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air may be associated with a high number of deaths from Covid-19. A new study by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) provides concrete data that back this assumption for the first time. The paper combines satellite data on air pollution and air currents with confirmed deaths related to Covid-19 and reveals that regions with permanently high levels of pollution have significantly more deaths than other regions. The results were published in the journal Science of the Total Environment. Nitrogen dioxide is an air pollutant that damages the human respiratory tract. For many years it has been known to cause many types of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in humans. “Since the novel coronavirus also affects the respiratory tract, it is reasonable to assume that there might be a correlation between air pollution and the number of deaths from Covid-19,” says Dr Yaron Ogen from the Institute of Geosciences and Geography at MLU. Until now, however, there has been an absence of reliable data to further investigate this.

 

 

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