Article

Satellite-detected tropospheric nitrogen dioxide and spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Northern Italy

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  • TerrAria srl, Milan
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Abstract

Following the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) last December 2019 in China, Italy was the first European country to be severely affected, with the first local case diagnosed on 20 February 2020. The virus spread quickly, particularly in the North of Italy, with three regions (Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna) being the most severely affected. These three regions accounted for >80% of SARS-CoV-2 positive cases when the tight lockdown was established (March 8). These regions include one of Europe's areas of heaviest air pollution, the Po valley. Air pollution has been recently proposed as a possible risk factor of SARS-CoV-2 infection, due to its adverse effect on immunity and to the possibility that polluted air may even carry the virus. We investigated the association between air pollution and subsequent spread of the SARS-CoV-2 infection within these regions. We collected NO2 tropospheric levels using satellite data available on the European Space Agency before the lockdown. Using a multivariable restricted cubic spline regression model, we compared NO2 levels with SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence rate at different time points after the lockdown, namely March 8, 22 and April 5, in the 28 provinces of Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna. We found little association of NO2 levels with SARS-CoV-2 prevalence up to about 130 μmol/m², while a positive association was evident at higher levels at each time point. Notwithstanding the limitations of the use of aggregated data, these findings lend some support to the hypothesis that high levels of air pollution may favor the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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... High overall risk of bias judgments were predominantly due to a failure to adjust aggregated data for age and other important covariates as confounders, and to a lesser extent as a result of a lack of comparative analysis in two short-term studies [30,53] and in one long-term study [54]. Of the remaining studies reporting on short-term exposure to pollutants, one was at low overall risk of bias [55] and the other [14] at unclear overall risk of bias; due to having adjusted aggregated data for age only. Seven of the remaining studies reporting on long-term exposure were at low overall risk of bias. ...
... However, negative correlations were observed in Italy (Lombardy and Milan) [58], California [62] and in Mexico (for total cases) while no such correlations were reported in Mexico (New cases), Bogota and Buenos Aires [63]. Furthermore, little association of NO 2 levels with COVID-19 prevalence was described across 28 provinces in Italy [55]. The overall association of shortterm NO 2 with total cases is very uncertain. ...
... Most of the included studies showed associations in a positive direction, but all studies were at high overall risk of bias and most of them reported imprecise associations. A single study at low overall risk of bias [55] reported an imprecise positive association of short-term NO 2 exposure with prevalence, providing a positive association of moderate certainty. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Air pollution is one of the world’s leading mortality risk factors contributing to seven million deaths annually. COVID-19 pandemic has claimed about one million deaths in less than a year. However, it is unclear whether exposure to acute and chronic air pollution influences the COVID-19 epidemiologic curve. Methods We searched for relevant studies listed in six electronic databases between December 2019 and September 2020. We applied no language or publication status limits. Studies presented as original articles, studies that assessed risk, incidence, prevalence, or lethality of COVID-19 in relation with exposure to either short-term or long-term exposure to ambient air pollution were included. All patients regardless of age, sex and location diagnosed as having COVID-19 of any severity were taken into consideration. We synthesised results using harvest plots based on effect direction. Results Included studies were cross-sectional (n = 10), retrospective cohorts (n = 9), ecological (n = 6 of which two were time-series) and hypothesis (n = 1). Of these studies, 52 and 48% assessed the effect of short-term and long-term pollutant exposure, respectively and one evaluated both. Pollutants mostly studied were PM2.5 (64%), NO2 (50%), PM10 (43%) and O3 (29%) for acute effects and PM2.5 (85%), NO2 (39%) and O3 (23%) then PM10 (15%) for chronic effects. Most assessed COVID-19 outcomes were incidence and mortality rate. Acutely, pollutants independently associated with COVID-19 incidence and mortality were first PM2.5 then PM10, NO2 and O3 (only for incident cases). Chronically, similar relationships were found for PM2.5 and NO2. High overall risk of bias judgments (86 and 39% in short-term and long-term exposure studies, respectively) was predominantly due to a failure to adjust aggregated data for important confounders, and to a lesser extent because of a lack of comparative analysis. Conclusion The body of evidence indicates that both acute and chronic exposure to air pollution can affect COVID-19 epidemiology. The evidence is unclear for acute exposure due to a higher level of bias in existing studies as compared to moderate evidence with chronic exposure. Public health interventions that help minimize anthropogenic pollutant source and socio-economic injustice/disparities may reduce the planetary threat posed by both COVID-19 and air pollution pandemics.
... Air quality has attracted even more attention. Low air quality (Bashir et al., 2020;Filippini et al., 2020) and, in particular, the presence of high concentrations of inhalable particulate matter (PM 2.5) (Zoran et al., 2020) may have assisted in the spread of cases and, consequently, led to higher COVID-19-related mortality (Copat et al., 2020). The presence of pollutants in the air can enable the capacity of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses to spread easily, affecting lethality (Domingo et al., 2020). ...
... The coefficients for pollution also go along with most of previous research (Bashir et al., 2020;Copat et al., 2020;Domingo et al., 2020;Filippini et al., 2020). Regions with a greater overall and with a higher than average household carbon footprints were hit harder by the first wave of the pandemic (Table 4, Regressions 4 and 5). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the uneven geography of COVID‐19‐related excess mortality during the first wave of the pandemic in Europe, prior to assessing the factors behind the geographical differences in impact. The analysis of 206 regions across 23 European countries reveals a distinct COVID‐19 geography. Excess deaths were concentrated in a limited number of regions —expected deaths exceeded 20% in just 16 regions— with more than 40% of the regions considered experiencing no excess mortality during the first six months of 2020. Highly connected regions, in colder and dryer climates, with high air pollution levels, and relatively poorly endowed health systems witnessed the highest incidence of excess mortality. Institutional factors also played an important role. The first wave hit regions with a combination of weak and declining formal institutional quality and fragile informal institutions hardest. Low and declining national government effectiveness, together with a limited capacity to reach out across societal divides, and a frequent tendency to meet with friends and family were powerful drivers of regional excess mortality. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... To illustrate the effects on the results of erroneously using a regression model with normally distributed errors, we used the data in Filippini et al. [25]. Their objective was to investigate the link between the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection and long-term exposure to NO 2 in the provinces of three regions of Northern Italy (Lombardia, Venetto and Emilia Romagna), between March 8 and April 5, 2020 (n = 84). ...
... As we said, we excluded 43 studies that were purely descriptive and those that did not include any type of regression model (Additional file 1: Table S1). In the end we were [25] left with 132 studies with which to carry out the qualitative synthesis (Additional file 1: Tables S2 and S3). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background While numerous studies have assessed the effects of environmental (meteorological variables and air pollutants) and socioeconomic variables on the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of them, however, have significant methodological limitations and errors that could call their results into question. Our main objective in this paper is to assess the methodological limitations in studies that evaluated the effects of environmental and socioeconomic variables on the spread of COVID-19. Main body We carried out a systematic review by conducting searches in the online databases PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus up to December 31, 2020. We first excluded those studies that did not deal with SAR-CoV-2 or COVID-19, preprints, comments, opinion or purely narrative papers, reviews and systematic literature reviews. Among the eligible full-text articles, we then excluded articles that were purely descriptive and those that did not include any type of regression model. We evaluated the risk of bias in six domains: confounding bias, control for population, control of spatial and/or temporal dependence, control of non-linearities, measurement errors and statistical model. Of the 5631 abstracts initially identified, we were left with 132 studies on which to carry out the qualitative synthesis. Of the 132 eligible studies, we evaluated 63.64% of the studies as high risk of bias, 19.70% as moderate risk of bias and 16.67% as low risk of bias. Conclusions All the studies we have reviewed, to a greater or lesser extent, have methodological limitations. These limitations prevent conclusions being drawn concerning the effects environmental (meteorological and air pollutants) and socioeconomic variables have had on COVID-19 outcomes. However, we dare to argue that the effects of these variables, if they exist, would be indirect, based on their relationship with social contact.
... Most of the studies that investigated the impact of COVID-19 on air quality considered only a few cities or countries globally, perhaps due to the lack of global in-situ data. While the bulk of studies used in-situ measurements alone (Adams, 2020;Baldasano, 2020;Bao and Zhang, 2020;Dantas et al., 2020;Kerimray et al., 2020) or in combination with modeled data Griffith et al., 2020;He et al., 2020;Li et al., 2020;Mollalo et al., 2020;Perera et al., 2021), some studies did use remotely sensed data to investigate the impact of lockdown measures on the environment at local, regional, national, and global scales (Filippini et al., 2020;Filonchyk et al., 2020;Mendez-Espinosa et al., 2020;Metya et al., 2020;Mostafa et al., 2021). Satellite observations can help identify air pollutants and GHG emissions globally . ...
... Recently, researchers reported that lockdown measures imposed to reduce the impact of COVID-19 pandemic had shown a considerable reduction in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions worldwide (Balasubramaniam et al., 2020;Baldasano, 2020;Chekir and Ben Salem, 2021;Chen et al., 2020;Filippini et al., 2020;Griffin et al., 2020;Gulabchandani and Sethi, 2020;Gupta et al., 2020;Ju et al., 2021;Kumari and Toshniwal, 2020;Liu et al., 2020;Mahato and Ghosh, 2020;Mostafa et al., 2021;Singh et al., 2020). Moreover, they found an improvement in the ozone layer and an overall positive impact on several other aspects, including air and water qualities. ...
Article
Full-text available
The coronavirus 2019 (COVID 19, or SARS-CoV-2) pandemic that started in December 2019 has caused an unprecedented impact in most countries globally and continues to threaten human lives worldwide. The COVID-19 and strict lockdown measures have had adverse effects on human health and national economies. These lockdown measures have played a critical role in improving air quality, water quality, and the ozone layer and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Using Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Level 4 carbon (SMAP LC4) satellite products, this study investigated the impacts of COVID-19 lockdown measures on annual carbon emissions globally, focusing on 47 greatly affected countries and their 105 cities by December 2020. It is shown that while the lockdown measures significantly reduced carbon emissions globally, several countries and cities observed this reduction as temporary because strict lockdown measures were not imposed for extended periods in 2020. Overall, the total carbon emissions of select 184 countries reduced by 438 Mt in 2020 than in 2019. Since the global economic activities are slowly expected to return to the non-COVID-19 state, the reduction in carbon emissions during the pandemic will not be sustainable in the long run. For sustainability, concerned authorities have to put significant efforts to change transportation, climate, and environmental policies globally that fuel carbon emissions. Overall, the presented results provide directions to the stakeholders and policymakers to develop and implement measures to control carbon emissions for a sustainable environment.
... The NO x emissions are dominated by anthropogenic fossil fuel combustion, and its chemical lifetime in the lower troposphere is relatively short. Consequently, the satellite-observed NO 2 TVCD is highly responsive to perturbations of human activities, including economic recession (Castellanos and Boersma, 2012;Russell et al., 2012), long-and short-term emission regulations (Duncan et al., 2016;Mijling et al., 2009;Witte et al., 2009), and the ongoing global pandemic caused by the coronavirus, or COVID-19 (Bauwens et al., 2020;Liu et al., 2020;Huang and Sun, 2020). ...
... We only use quality-assured level 2 pixels with cloud fraction < 0.3 and solar zenith angle < 70 • . Throughout the OMI mission, its across-track pixels are limited to 5-23 out of 1-60 to avoid the row anomaly and keep the time series analysis consistent (Duncan et al., 2016;Schenkeveld et al., 2017). TROPOMI features 450 pixels across its 2600 km swath and a nadir pixel size of 3.5 × 5.5 km 2 (3.5 × 7 km 2 before 6 August 2019), leading to significantly higher spatial resolution than OMI, whose nadir pixel size is 13 × 24 km 2 . ...
Article
Full-text available
The evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitates timely estimates of the resultant perturbations to anthropogenic emissions. Here we present a novel framework based on the relationships between observed column abundance and wind speed to rapidly estimate the air-basin-scale NOx emission rate and apply it at the Po Valley in Italy using OMI and TROPOMI NO2 tropospheric column observations. The NOx chemical lifetime is retrieved together with the emission rate and found to be 15–20 h in winter and 5–6 h in summer. A statistical model is trained using the estimated emission rates before the pandemic to predict the trajectory without COVID-19. Compared with this business-as-usual trajectory, the real emission rates show three distinctive drops in March 2020 (−42 %), November 2020 (−38 %), and March 2021 (−39 %) that correspond to tightened COVID-19 control measures. The temporal variation of pandemic-induced NOx emission changes qualitatively agrees with Google and Apple mobility indicators. The overall net NOx emission reduction in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to be 22 %.
... According to various studies, contagion is due to droplets that we expel when we speak, cough, or sneeze. However, the latest studies focus on the exposure of aerosols that dissipate the virus through the environment, minimizing this risk with a derived clean ambient air quality of good ventilation of the rooms (Baldasano, 2020;Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 2020;Urrutia-Pereiraa, 2020;Ministerio de Sanidad, 2020;Tommaso Filippini, 2020;Zoran, 2020). Therefore, it is necessary to improve the indoor air quality and, to avoid high concentrations of harmful substances, it is needed to have good ventilation in the house (Chen Ren, 2019; Garcia-Chevesich, 2014; Ogen, 2020; World Health Organization, WHO Air quality guidelines for particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide: Global update 2005Global update , 2005; World Health Organization, Statement on the second meeting of the Emergency Committee of the International Health Regulations (2005) on the novel coronavirus outbreak (2019-nCoV)., 2020c). ...
Article
With the arrival of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the scientific academia, as well as policymakers, are striving to conceive solutions as an attempt to contain the spreading of contagion. Among the adopted measures, severe lockdown restrictions were issued to avoid the diffusion of the virus in an uncontrolled way through public spaces. It can be deduced from recent literature that the primary route of transmission is via aerosols, produced mainly in poorly ventilated interior areas where infected people spend a lot of time with other people. Concerning contagion rates, accumulated incidence or number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19, Spain, and Italy have reached very high levels. In this framework, a regression analysis to assess the feasibility of the indoor ventilation measures established in Spain and Italy, with respect to the European framework, is here presented. To this aim, ten cases of housing typology were and analyzed. The results show that the measures established in the applicable regulations to prevent and control the risk of contagion by aerosols are not adequate to guarantee a healthy environment indoors. The current Italian guidelines are more restrictive than in Spain, yet the ventilation levels are still insufficient in times of pandemic.
... To be more specific, four of the top five regions with the highest fatalities were in Northern Italy [55]. This finding is consistent with the results found by Filippini et al. as they observed a positive correlation between COVID-19 prevalence and exposure to high levels of NO 2 in Northern Italy [56]. On the other hand, Zoran et al. conducted a time-series analysis of daily average inhalable gaseous pollutants O 3 and NO 2 , together with climate variables for January-April 2020 period in Milan, Italy. ...
Article
Full-text available
The ambient air pollutants that have a major role in causing respiratory diseases are particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, and heavy metals. In addition, respiratory infections, divided into upper respiratory tract and lower respiratory tract infection, are most commonly caused by viral agents. Thus, in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, this review has focused on the association between exposure to general air pollution including each of the mentioned air pollutants and viral respiratory infections. The gathered evidence from the reviewed studies in this article showed that most of these air pollutants have a positive correlation with mortality, severity, transmission, inflammation, and incidence of different viral respiratory infections. Whereas, some studies found contradictory results such as non-significant and negative connections between exposure to air pollutants and viral respiratory infections, which are further discussed in this text. Therefore, following the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, these contradictions in the reported correlation between air pollution and different aspects of viral respiratory infections must be thoroughly investigated and cleared.
... considering the importance of ventilation on the air distribution, determining comfort and health in indoor environments [11][12]. According to various studies, contagion is due to the exposure of aerosols that convey the virus through the environment, and this risk can be minimized with clean air derived from good indoor ventilation [13][14][15][16][17][18]. A well-ventilated home is beneficial to health. ...
Preprint
After the arrival of a new airborne virus to the world, science is aiming to develop solutions to withstand the spread and contagion of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The most severe among the adopted measures is to remain in home isolation for a significant number of hours per day, in order to avoid the spreading of the infection in an uncontrolled way through public spaces. Recent literature showed that the major route of transmission is via aerosols produced especially in poorly ventilated inner spaces. With regard to contagion rates, accumulated incidence or number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19, Spain has reached very high levels, therefore this article develops a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the requirements established in Spain with respect to the European framework in reference to ventilation parameters indoors. For this, a case study has been analyzed, representing a common residence in current Spanish residential developments. Results show that the criteria established in the applicable regulations are not sufficient to ensure health as well as to avoid contagion by aerosols indoors.
... This hypothesis is supported with global evidences of the improvement of air quality with the implementation of anthropogenic activity restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The improvement was first confirmed via satellite observation [9][10][11][12]. Other studies also observed the air quality improvement from pollutant concentration data in specific regions such as East Asia [13][14][15][16], South Asia [17][18][19], Southeast Asia [20][21][22][23], Europe [24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33], North America [34,35], and South America [36][37][38]. ...
Article
Full-text available
We reported the result of our study on the impact of Large-Scale Social Restriction (LSSR) phases due to the COVID-19 outbreak on the air quality in Jakarta. Specifically, this study covered the change of Air Quality Index (AQI) based on five pollutants, PM10, SO2, CO, O3, and NO2, contained in Jakarta’s air before and during LSSR. The AQI data were provided by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia, from January 2019 to December 2020 at five different locations in Jakarta, with missing data for March and September 2020 due to unknown reasons. These data were grouped into the period before the LSSR from January 2019 to February 2020 and the period during LSSR from April 2020 to December 2020. In order to measure the change in the air quality of Jakarta before and during LSSR, we ran a chi-squared test to the AQI for each location and LSSR phase as well as paired one-sided t-test for the seasonal trend. The result of this study showed that, in general, LSSR improved the air quality of Jakarta. The improvement was mainly contributed by reduced transportation activities that were induced by LSSR. Further analysis on the seasonal pollutants trend showed a variation of AQI improvement in each phase due to their unique characteristics.
... ,(Martorell-Marugán et al., 2021), a(Filippini et al., 2020),,(Gualtieri et al., 2020), a (Ordóñez et al., 2020),(Ropkins and Tate, 2020),(Wyche et al., 2020),(Ljubenkov et al., 2020),(Jakovljević et al., 2020) a OceaniaAustralia(Forster et al., 2020),(Venter et al., 2020),(Fu et al. ...
Article
Full-text available
The coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic led to government interventions to limit the spread of the disease which are unprecedented in recent history; for example, stay at home orders led to sudden decreases in atmospheric emissions from the transportation sector. In this review article, the current understanding of the influence of emission reductions on atmospheric pollutant concentrations and air quality is summarized for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM2.5), ozone (O3), ammonia, sulfur dioxide, black carbon, volatile organic compounds, and carbon monoxide (CO). In the first 7 months following the onset of the pandemic, more than 200 papers were accepted by peer-reviewed journals utilizing observations from ground-based and satellite instruments. Only about one-third of this literature incorporates a specific method for meteorological correction or normalization for comparing data from the lockdown period with prior reference observations despite the importance of doing so on the interpretation of results. We use the government stringency index (SI) as an indicator for the severity of lockdown measures and show how key air pollutants change as the SI increases. The observed decrease of NO2 with increasing SI is in general agreement with emission inventories that account for the lockdown. Other compounds such as O3, PM2.5, and CO are also broadly covered. Due to the importance of atmospheric chemistry on O3 and PM2.5 concentrations, their responses may not be linear with respect to primary pollutants. At most sites, we found O3 increased, whereas PM2.5 decreased slightly, with increasing SI. Changes of other compounds are found to be understudied. We highlight future research needs for utilizing the emerging data sets as a preview of a future state of the atmosphere in a world with targeted permanent reductions of emissions. Finally, we emphasize the need to account for the effects of meteorology, emission trends, and atmospheric chemistry when determining the lockdown effects on pollutant concentrations.
... [14][15][16][17][18][19] Pandemic and CO 2 Emission in the United States: A Sectoral Analysis ...
Chapter
The relationship between COVID‐19 pandemic and CO2 emission is not unexpected given the “stay at home” implication of the various stringency measures. Thus, we broadly examine the contemporaneous and dynamic impacts of uncertainty due to pandemics and epidemics (UPE) on US sectoral CO2 emissions. The study relies on a new measure of UPE whose impact on CO2 emission is traced using the structural vector autoregressive (SVAR) approach over the period of January 1985 to June 2020. The results from the SVAR contemporaneous effect reveal that sectoral CO2 emission of the United States does not respond significantly to UPE but responds significantly to industrial productivity shock. This suggests that changes in sectoral CO2 emission during pandemics are indirectly influenced by the unanticipated changes in industrial productivity due to pandemics. The contemporaneous effect of the residential sector CO2 emission is larger than that of any other sector, suggesting the swift response of the former to COVID‐19 pandemic relative to the latter category. The results of the dynamic responses via impulse response function show that CO2 emission of the industrial and residential sectors reduces at a slower rate compared to any other sector. This is consistent for both the direct and indirect pandemic transmission channels.
... The province of Modena is one of the most industrialized areas of Italy, with a significantly higher proportion of workers engaged in industrial activities compared to the average in Italy (40% compared to a national percentage of 30%) [13], and is also located in the part of the country most significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, especially during the first wave of the pandemic. Furthermore, it should also be considered that this province is densely populated and polluted, factors potentially playing a role in the spread of SARS-CoV-2 [20,21]. Our study highlights a higher rate of anti-SARS-COV-2 antibody positivity in the manufacturing and transportation sectors, as well as in professional, scientific and technical activities (ISIC code M), administrative and support services activities (ISIC code N), and in recreation (including arts and sports) activities (ISIC code R) when compared to the current distribution of workers in the same employment activities in the province. ...
Article
Full-text available
The results of a voluntary screening campaign for the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 serum antibodies are presented, performed on workers in the highly industrialized province of Modena in northern Italy in the period 18 May–5 October 2020. The employment activities of the subjects that tested positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM and/or IgG antibodies were determined and classified using the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC). The distribution across different sectors was compared to the proportion of workers employed in the same sectors in the province of Modena as a whole. Workers with anti-SARS-CoV-2 serum antibodies were mainly employed in manufacturing (60%), trade (12%), transportation (9%), scientific and technical activities (5%), and arts, entertainment and recreation activities (4.5%). Within the manufacturing sector, a cluster of workers with positive serological tests was observed in the meat processing sector, confirming recent data showing a possible increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in these workers.
... It is noteworthy that, despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, the local administration has not lost its focus on the importance of the FFF's requests regarding air quality, especially since there has been some speculation about the correlation between COVID-19 diffusion and air pollution (Filippini et al., 2020). ...
Article
Purpose: The integration of environmental principles into the public decision-making process has been a public policy priority during the last 30 years. However, 5 years after the development of the UN 2030 Agenda, such integration is still at an initial stage, with no significant actions having been implemented either at the national or local level. This paper presents the experience of the municipality of Lucca, which found itself under pressure from the Fridays For Future movement (FFF) that requested the city take urgent action on climate change. In the framework of this initiative, the study aims to answer the following question: based on pressures emerging from social and institutional context, how to institutionalize the integration of sustainability principles and SDGs at the municipal level? Study design/methodological approach: This study has been developed as research practice. In an attempt to enrich the public decision-making approach with the systematic integration of environmental and sustainable principles, the method, the results provided, and the knowledge created are linked to the action research (AR) framework. Findings: Within the institutional theory framework and viewing the city as a viable system, the study makes three distinct contributions. First, from a theoretical point of view, the case analyzes the impact of an activist group using its relative power. Second, the study proposes a model for the systematic integration of sustainability principles with municipal practices as a tool of institutional change. Third, from an empirical standpoint, it identifies the UN 2030 Agenda as a governance tool of a municipality. Originality: The study, for the first time, analyzes the application of a global policy at the local level, thanks to the pressure of a local group of organized citizens that has a global impact. Limitation: The primary limitation of the study is the lack of comparison with other contexts and municipalities. Limitations in the applicability of the designed model to other contexts are linked to the nature of the city in which it has been developed. The model is the result of action-research and in this sense, it is necessary and desirable that future studies embrace the application of this particular research method to modify and improve it.
... These measures turned out to be highly effective in curbing the outbreak 16 though at the expense (for lockdowns) of huge economic and psychological consequences. 17 Additional factors may favour the spread of the infection and related clinical manifestations, including air and environmental pollution [18][19][20] possibly through a weakening of the immunological response and an patients for difficult to treat cases. Without being exhaustive, the review will cover these important issues to be acknowledged to further advance in the battle against the current pandemia. ...
Article
Full-text available
The outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) has gathered 1 year of scientific/clinical information. This informational asset should be thoroughly and wisely used in the coming year colliding in a global task force to control this infection. Epidemiology of this infection shows that the available estimates of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection prevalence largely depended on the availability of molecular testing and the extent of tested population. Within molecular diagnosis, the viability and infectiousness of the virus in the tested samples should be further investigated. Moreover, SARS‐CoV‐2 has a genetic normal evolution that is a dynamic process. The immune system participates to the counterattack of the viral infection by pathogen elimination, cellular homoeostasis, tissue repair and generation of memory cells that would be reactivated upon a second encounter with the same virus. In all these stages, we still have knowledge to be gathered regarding antibody persistence, protective effects and immunological memory. Moreover, information regarding the intense pro‐inflammatory action in severe cases still lacks and this is important in stratifying patients for difficult to treat cases. Without being exhaustive, the review will cover these important issues to be acknowledged to further advance in the battle against the current pandemia.
... This association has also been seen with other indicators of air pollution. For example, Filippini et al. (2020) found a positive association between NO2 levels and COVID-19 mortality rates, and high NO2 levels were associated with the spread of the infection. Also, Copat et al. (2020), in a systematic review study, highlight the important contribution of PM2.5 and NO2 as triggering the COVID-19 spread and lethality and with a lesser extent also PM10 (Copat et al. 2020;Maleki et al. 2021). ...
Article
Full-text available
The survival of COVID-19 in different environments may be affected by a variety of weather, pollution, and seasonal parameters. Therefore, the present study aims to conduct an ecological investigation on COVID-19 average growth rate of daily cases and deaths influenced by environmental factors (temperature, humidity, and air pollution) using a sample size of adjusted cumulative incidence of daily cases and deaths based on five 60-day periods. Research data was gathered on official websites, including information on COVID-19, meteorological data, and air pollution indicators from December 31, 2019, to October 12, 2020, from 210 countries. Spearman correlation and generalized additive model (GAM) were used to analyze the data. During the observed period, the COVID-19 average growth rate of daily cases (r = −0.08, P =0.151) and deaths (r= −0.09, P = 0.207) were not correlated with humidity. Also, there was a negative relationship between the COVID-19 average growth rate of new cases and deaths with the Air Quality Index (AQI) and wind (new cases and wind: r=−0.25, P= 0.04). Furthermore, the data related to the first and second 60 day of the adjusted cumulative incidence of COVID-19 daily cases and deaths were not associated with humidity and Air Quality Index (AQI). The result of GAM showed the effect of AQI on the average growth rate of COVID-19 new cases and deaths. This study provides evidence for a positive relationship between COVID-19 daily cases, deaths, and AQI.
... Humankind is facing issues related to the ongoing pandemic that can definitely affect the quality of life, e.g., considering the importance of ventilation on the air distribution, determining comfort and health in indoor environments (Gilani et al., 2016;Hamdy and Mauro, 2019). According to various studies, contagion is due to aerosols' exposure that conveys the virus through the environment, and this risk can be minimized with clean air derived from good indoor ventilation (Zoran et al., 2020;CCAES, 2020;Dati aggregati quotidiani Regioni / PPAA, 2021;Urrutia-Pereira et al., 2020;Filippini et al., 2020;Baldasano, 2020). A well-ventilated home is beneficial to health. ...
Article
Full-text available
After the arrival of a new airborne virus to the world, science is aiming to develop solutions to withstand the spread and contagion of SARS-CoV-2. The most severe among the adopted measures is to remain in home isolation for a significant number of hours per day, to avoid the spreading of the infection in an uncontrolled way through public spaces. Recent literature showed that the primary route of transmission is via aerosols, especially produced in poorly ventilated inner spaces. Spain has reached very high levels concerning contagion rates, accumulated incidence, or number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19. Therefore, this article aims to develop a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the requirements established in Spain, with respect to the European framework in reference to ventilation parameters indoors. The different parameters that serve as calculation for the ventilation flow in homes are analyzed to this aim. Results show that the criteria established in the applicable regulations are insufficient to ensure health and avoid contagion by aerosols indoors.
... As for most European countries, Italy witnessed the second wave of the pandemic in autumn 2020, and it was still affected in early 2021 [6]. The factors affecting the uneven distribution across the territory of many countries are partially unknown, although they are likely to encompass environmental factors [9][10][11] as well as genetic determinants [12]. The SARS-CoV-2 infection, either in symptomatic individuals or in those asymptomatic for COVID-19, is identified following diagnostic molecular RT-PCR tests based on swabs, recognizing the infection status through viral RNA detection. ...
Article
Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic is due to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infections. It swept across the world in the spring of 2020, and so far it has caused a huge number of hospitalizations and deaths. In the present study, the authors investigated serum anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence in the period of June 1-September 25, 2020, in 7561 subjects in Modena, Northern Italy. Material and methods: The study population included 5454 workers referred to testing by their companies, and 2107 residents in the Modena area who accessed testing through self-referral. Results: The authors found the overall seroprevalence to be 4.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 4.2-5.2%), which was higher in women (5.4%, 95% CI: 4.5-6.2%) than in men (4.3%, 95% CI: 3.7-4.9%), and in the oldest age groups (7.3%, 95% CI: 5.2-9.3% for persons aged 60-69 years, and 11.8%, 95% CI: 8.6-15.1%, for persons aged ≥70 years). Among the occupational categories, the highest seroprevalence was found in healthcare workers (8.8%, 95% CI: 7.0-10.5%), dealers and vehicle repairers (5.2%, 95% CI: 2.9-7.6%), and workers in the sports sector (4.0%, 95% CI: 1.8-6.1%), while there was little or no such evidence for those employed in sectors such as transport and storage, accommodation and restaurant services, and the school system. Conclusions: These results have allowed, for the first time, to assess population seroprevalence in this area of Italy severely hit by the epidemic, while at the same time identifying the subgroups at a higher risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2.
... Several studies indicated a detrimental role of atmospheric environmental factors on human health (Filippini et al., 2020(Filippini et al., , 2021bGabet et al., 2021;Southerland et al., 2021;Vinceti et al., 2016;Wang et al., 2021), including neurodegenerative diseases (Bai et al., 2018;Filippini et al., 2021a;Tsai et al., 2019;Yu et al., 2021). In particular, air pollutants may result in cognitive decline and dementia etiology (Livingston et al., 2020;Ran et al., 2021;Yang et al., 2015), thus it is no surprise that some epidemiological studies have evaluated if these chemicals may induce adverse effects on the hippocampus. ...
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Growing epidemiological evidence suggests that air pollution may increase the risk of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disease. A hallmark of neurodegeneration and an important diagnostic biomarker is volume reduction of a key brain structure, the hippocampus. We aimed to investigate the possibility that outdoor air nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter with diameter ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5) and ≤10 μm (PM10) adversely affect hippocampal volume, through a meta-analysis. We considered studies that assessed the relation between outdoor air pollution and hippocampal volume by structural magnetic resonance imaging in adults and children, searching in Pubmed and Scopus databases from inception through July 13, 2021. For inclusion, studies had to report the correlation coefficient along with its standard error or 95% confidence interval (CI) between air pollutant exposure and hippocampal volume, to use standard space for neuroimages, and to consider at least age, sex and intracranial volume as covariates or effect modifiers. We meta-analyzed the data with a random-effects model, considering separately adult and child populations. We retrieved four eligible studies in adults and two in children. In adults, the pooled summary β regression coefficients of the association of PM2.5, PM10 and NO2 with hippocampal volume showed respectively a stronger association (summary β −7.59, 95%CI -14.08 to −1.11), a weaker association (summary β −2.02, 95%CI -4.50 to 0.47), and no association (summary β −0.44, 95%CI -1.27 to 0.40). The two studies available for children, both carried out in preadolescents, did not show an association between PM2.5 and hippocampal volume. The inverse association between PM2.5 and hippocampal volume in adults appeared to be stronger at higher mean PM2.5 levels. Our results suggest that outdoor PM2.5 and less strongly PM10 could adversely affect hippocampal volume in adults, a phenomenon that may explain why air pollution has been related to memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia.
... There were no important local differences in attempted control until November 6, 2020, when area-specific policies driven by the local spread of the outbreak began (DPCM, 2020). This history allows a relatively unconfounded comparison of the first and second waves of COVID-19 epidemiology during the 2020 February-October period between Italian communities, assuming that environmental and behavioral risk factors for COVID-19 such as outdoor air pollution, meteorological effects, and social interaction are close to uniform across Italy (Ambika et al., 2021;Calina et al., 2021;Copat et al., 2020;Domingo and Rovira, 2020;Filippini et al., 2020Filippini et al., , 2021Marques et al., 2021;Mele et al., 2021;Sidiropoulou et al., 2021;Sunyer et al., 2021;Tsatsakis et al., 2020b). The vaccination campaign did not begin in Italy until December 27, 2020 (Ministry of Health, 2021). ...
Article
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We assessed the relation between Covid-19 waves in Italy, which was severely affected during the pandemic. We evaluated the hypothesis that a larger impact from the first wave (February-March 2020) predicts a smaller peak during the second wave (September-October), in the absence of local changes in public health interventions and area-specific differences in time trends of environmental parameters. Based on publicly available data on province-specific SARS-CoV-2 infections and both crude and multivariable cubic spline regression models, we found that for provinces with the lowest incidence rates in the first wave, the incidence in the second wave increased roughly in proportion with the incidence in the first wave until an incidence of about 500-600 cases/100,000 in the first wave. Above that value, provinces with higher incidences in the first wave experienced lower incidences in the second wave. It appears that a comparatively high cumulative incidence of infection, even if far below theoretical thresholds required for herd immunity, may provide noticeable protection during the second wave. We speculate that, if real, the mechanism for this pattern could be depletion of most susceptible individuals and of superspreaders in the first wave. A population learning effect regarding cautious behavior could have also contributed. Since no area-specific variation of the national policy against the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak was allowed until early November 2020, neither individual behaviours nor established or purported environmental risk factors of Covid-19, such as air pollution and meteorological factors, are likely to have confounded the inverse trends we observed in infection incidence over time.
... Empirical results showed that both associations are statistically significant and positive, indicating that homeless, poverty-stricken Indians, roadside vendors and many others who are regularly exposed to vehicular exhaust, may be at a higher risk in the COVID-19 pandemic. Filippini et al. (2020) examined the infection prevalence in the most affected regions in 28 provinces of Northern Italy. They collected NO 2 tropospheric levels using satellite data available at the European Space Agency. ...
Article
This study represents the first empirical estimation of threshold values between nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations and COVID-19-related deaths in France. The concentration of NO2 linked to COVID-19-related deaths in three major French cities were determined using Artificial Neural Networks experiments and a Causal Direction from Dependency (D2C) algorithm. The aim of the study was to evaluate the potential effects of NO2 in spreading the epidemic. The underlying hypothesis is that NO2, as a precursor to secondary particulate matter formation, can foster COVID-19 and make the respiratory system more susceptible to this infection. Three different neural networks for the cities of Paris, Lyon and Marseille were built in this work, followed by the application of an innovative tool of cutting the signal from the inputs to the selected target. The results show that the threshold levels of NO2 connected to COVID-19 range between 15.8 μg/m³ for Lyon, 21.8 μg/m³ for Marseille and 22.9 μg/m³ for Paris, which were significantly lower than the average annual concentration limit of 40 μg/m³ imposed by Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament.
... Taking the example of Northern Italy, which features some of the highest levels of air pollution in Europe, this region has been highly affected by COVID-19 with high incidence and mortality rates 41 . Similarly, several Indian megacities, notably Delhi and Mumbai, which are epicenters of the coronavirus disease, count amongst the world's most polluted cities [40][41][42][43][44] . Local observations confirm that risks from respiratory diseases tend to worsen in the winter when air pollution peaks. ...
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The new COVID-19 coronavirus disease has emerged as a global threat and not just to human health but also the global economy. Due to the pandemic, most countries affected have therefore imposed periods of full or partial lockdowns to restrict community transmission. This has had the welcome but unexpected side effect that existing levels of atmospheric pollutants, particularly in cities, have temporarily declined. As found by several authors, air quality can inherently exacerbate the risks linked to respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. In this study, we explore patterns of air pollution for ten of the most affected countries in the world, in the context of the 2020 development of the COVID-19 pandemic. We find that the concentrations of some of the principal atmospheric pollutants were temporarily reduced during the extensive lockdowns in the spring. Secondly, we show that the seasonality of the atmospheric pollutants is not significantly affected by these temporary changes, indicating that observed variations in COVID-19 conditions are likely to be linked to air quality. On this background, we confirm that air pollution may be a good predictor for the local and national severity of COVID-19 infections.
... NO 2 concentrations exceeding 130 µmol m -3 significantly increase mortality among Corvid-19 patients (Filippini et al. 2020). ...
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Of the nitrogen oxides, NO2 has the greatest impact on humans. The areas with its highest concentrations within the EU are these most populated and industrialised ones. Excessive nitro-gen dioxide concentrations are responsible for around 75,000 premature deaths of EU residents each year; in Poland, this value reaches almost 1,900. Since 2017, there have been new possibi- lities to measure NO2 concentration, made as part of the Copernicus Sentinels-5P Programme. Hence, it is purposeful to analyse changes in nitrogen dioxide emissions in the most important Polish cities against the EU in spring and summer 2020. The basis for the analysis was satellite data collected during the Copernicus Sentinels-5P Programme. In 2020, there were huge chan- ges in NO2 concentration, which were the consequences of the implementation of restrictive safety measures relating to the COVID-19 pandemic: a significant reduction in road traffic and the closure or limiting of production in many industrial plants. It was found that, as a result of lockdown, nitrogen dioxide concentrations in Poland’s largest cities fell to a much lesser de-gree than in cities of similar size in southern or western Europe. The analyses indicated that data obtained from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite will play a key role in monitoring chan- ges in nitrogen dioxide concentration throughout the EU. Ground-based observations of nitrogen dioxide concentrations, which have dominated until recently, will remain only of comparative importance in the assessment and analysis of the compound concentration.
... The impact of buildings' indoor environmental quality (IAQ) on residents' health is an important topic in civil, architectural, mechanical engineering, and public health. The concept that air pollution can raise human exposure to viral infections such as SARS-CoV-2 is currently supported by recent data [25]. In previous studies, IAQ indicators were included in the suitability of ambient temperature, visual visibility, acoustic properties, humidity, and ventilation on the health of the inhabitants. ...
Article
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Sustainable design methods aim to obtain architectural solutions that assure the coexistence and welfare of human beings, inorganic structures, and living things that constitute ecosystems. The novel coronavirus emergence, inadequate vaccines against the present severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-(SARS-CoV-2), and increases in microbial resistance have made it essential to review the preventative approaches used during pre-antibiotic periods. Apart from low carbon emissions and energy, sustainable architecture for facilities, building designs, and digital modeling should incorporate design approaches to confront the impacts of communicable infections. This review aims to determine how architectural design can protect people and employees from harm; it models viewpoints to highlight the architects’ roles in combating coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and designing guidelines as a biomedical system for policymakers. The goals include exploring the hospital architecture evolution and the connection between architectural space and communicable infections and recommending design and digital modeling strategies to improve infection prevention and controls. Based on a wide-ranging literature review, it was found that design methods have often played important roles in the prevention and control of infectious diseases and could be a solution for combating the wide spread of the novel coronavirus or coronavirus variants or delta.
... They also found an increase in surface O 3 from 26 ppb to 56.4 ppb during the same period. Many other studies also observe similar changes in pollutants during the COVID-19 period (Abdullah et al. 2020;Tobías et al. 2020;Bashir et al. 2020;Chauhan and Singh 2020;Muhammad et al. 2020;Dutheil et al. 2020;Isaifan 2020;Filippini et al. 2020;Fan et al. 2020;Li et al. 2020;Ryan et al. 2020). Therefore, it is a challenge to include all studies, and thus, we have mentioned those related to air quality, particularly ozone and NO 2 . ...
Article
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A nationwide lockdown was imposed in India from 24 March 2020 to 31 May 2020 to contain the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown has changed the atmospheric pollution across the continents. Here, we analyze the changes in two most important air quality related trace gases, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and tropospheric ozone (O3) from satellite and surface observations, during the lockdown (April–May 2020) and unlock periods (June–September 2020) in India, to examine the baseline emissions when anthropogenic sources were significantly reduced. We use the Bayesian statistics to find the changes in these trace gas concentrations in different time periods. There is a strong reduction in NO2 during the lockdown as public transport and industries were shut during that period. The largest changes are found in IGP (Indo-Gangetic Plain), and industrial and mining areas in Eastern India. The changes are small in the hilly regions, where the concentrations of these trace gases are also very small (0–1 × 10¹⁵ molec./cm²). In addition, a corresponding increase in the concentrations of tropospheric O3 is observed during the period. The analyses over cities show that there is a large decrease in NO2 in Delhi (36%), Bangalore (21%) and Ahmedabad (21%). As the lockdown restrictions were eased during the unlock period, the concentrations of NO2 gradually increased and ozone deceased in most regions. Therefore, this study suggests that pollution control measures should be prioritized, ensuring strict regulations to control the source of anthropogenic pollutants, particularly from the transport and industrial sectors. Highlights • Most cities show a reduction up to 15% of NO2 during the lockdown • The unlock periods show again an increase of about 40–50% in NO2 • An increase in tropospheric O3 is observed together with the decrease in NO2
... per 1-μg/m 3 increase), which is somewhat smaller than the effect size observed in the present study, although the differences in study design, target population, exposure distribution, and statistical methods preclude a direct comparison with our findings. Typically, previous ecological studies used a time-series study design and generalized additive model to quantify the association,[33][34][35][36][38][39][40] which may be limited by the autocorrelation of air pollution concentrations over time and group-and population-level exposure. By using an ...
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Importance Mounting ecological evidence shows an association between short-term air pollution exposure and COVID-19, yet no study has examined this association on an individual level. Objective To estimate the association between short-term exposure to ambient air pollution and SARS-CoV-2 infection among Swedish young adults. Design, Setting, and Participants This time-stratified case-crossover study linked the prospective BAMSE (Children, Allergy Milieu, Stockholm, Epidemiology [in Swedish]) birth cohort to the Swedish national infectious disease registry to identify cases with positive results for SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing from May 5, 2020, to March 31, 2021. Case day was defined as the date of the PCR test, whereas the dates with the same day of the week within the same calendar month and year were selected as control days. Data analysis was conducted from September 1 to December 31, 2021. Exposures Daily air pollutant levels (particulate matter with diameter ≤2.5 μm [PM2.5], particulate matter with diameter ≤10 μm [PM10], black carbon [BC], and nitrogen oxides [NOx]) at residential addresses were estimated using dispersion models with high spatiotemporal resolution. Main Outcomes and Measures Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection among participants within the BAMSE cohort. Distributed-lag models combined with conditional logistic regression models were used to estimate the association. Results A total of 425 cases were identified, of whom 229 (53.9%) were women, and the median age was 25.6 (IQR, 24.9-26.3) years. The median exposure level for PM2.5 was 4.4 [IQR, 2.6-6.8] μg/m3 on case days; for PM10, 7.7 [IQR, 4.6-11.3] μg/m3 on case days; for BC, 0.3 [IQR, 0.2-0.5] μg/m3 on case days; and for NOx, 8.2 [5.6-14.1] μg/m3 on case days. Median exposure levels on control days were 3.8 [IQR, 2.4-5.9] μg/m3 for PM2.5, 6.6 [IQR, 4.5-10.4] μg/m3 for PM10, 0.2 [IQR, 0.2-0.4] μg/m3 for BC, and 7.7 [IQR, 5.3-12.8] μg/m3 for NOx. Each IQR increase in short-term exposure to PM2.5 on lag 2 was associated with a relative increase in positive results of SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing of 6.8% (95% CI, 2.1%-11.8%); exposure to PM10 on lag 2, 6.9% (95% CI, 2.0%-12.1%); and exposure to BC on lag 1, 5.8% (95% CI, 0.3%-11.6%). These findings were not associated with NOx, nor were they modified by sex, smoking, or having asthma, overweight, or self-reported COVID-19 respiratory symptoms. Conclusions and Relevance The findings of this case-crossover study of Swedish young adults suggest that short-term exposure to particulate matter and BC was associated with increased risk of positive PRC test results for SARS-CoV-2, supporting the broad public health benefits of reducing ambient air pollution levels.
... A recent US study found that an increase of just 1 µg/m 3 in long-term exposure to PM 2.5 was associated with an 8% increase in the COVID-19 death rate [10]. Studies in Italy have identified associations between COVID-19 and COVID-19-related death and exposure to PM 10 and PM 2.5 [11][12][13][14], while tropospheric nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ) in northern Italy was associated with levels of SARS-CoV-2 infection [15]. The COVID-19 pandemic in Italy started in the Po Valley of northern Italy-one of the most polluted areas in the world [16]where intensive livestock rearing and heavy use of fertilizers make major contributions to atmospheric pollution [17]. ...
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Exposure to atmospheric particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide has been linked to SARS-CoV-2 infection and death. We hypothesized that long-term exposure to farming-related air pollutants might predispose to an increased risk of COVID-19-related death. To test this hypothesis, we performed an ecological study of five Italian Regions (Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna and Sicily), linking all-cause mortality by province (administrative entities within regions) to data on atmospheric concentrations of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) and ammonia (NH3), which are mainly produced by agricultural activities. The study outcome was change in all-cause mortality during March–April 2020 compared with March–April 2015–2019 (period). We estimated all-cause mortality rate ratios (MRRs) by multivariate negative binomial regression models adjusting for air temperature, humidity, international import-export, gross domestic product and population density. We documented a 6.9% excess in MRR (proxy for COVID-19 mortality) for each tonne/km2 increase in NH3 emissions, explained by the interaction of the period variable with NH3 exposure, considering all pollutants together. Despite the limitations of the ecological design of the study, following the precautionary principle, we recommend the implementation of public health measures to limit environmental NH3 exposure, particularly while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Future studies are needed to investigate any causal link between COVID-19 and farming-related pollution.
... In Italy the pandemic developed earlier in comparison with other countries (Lolli et al., 2020;Wu et al., 2020a), therefore a lot of studies have been published on this topic. These investigations have examined the effect of atmospheric parameters on the COVID-19 diffusion in the most impacted zone (especially Lombardia, and its main city: Milano), and during the most dramatic period, up to March 2020, i.e. the first month (Pivato et al., 2021;Pirouz et al., 2020;Collivignarelli et al., 2021;Haghshenas et al., 2020;Bontempi, 2020;Passerini et al., 2020;Ye et al., 2021;Sfîcȃ et al., 2020;Khursheed et al., 2021;Coker et al., 2020;Bianconi et al., 2020;Accarino et al., 2021;Perone, 2021;Filippini et al., 2021;Kotsiou et al., 2021), or up to April 2020 (Coccia, 2020;Delnevo et al., 2020;Fazzini et al., 2020;Filippini et al., 2020;Fattorini and Regoli, 2020;Zoran et al., 2020;De Angelis et al., 2021;Benedetti et al., 2020;Agnoletti et al., 2020). Only a few works have considered a wider time span, up to the end of spring (Ho et al., 2021;Pansini and Fornacca, 2021;Lolli et al., 2020;Cascetta et al., 2021). ...
Article
In 2020 North Italy suffered the SARS-CoV-2-related pandemic with a high number of deaths and hospitalization. The effect of atmospheric parameters on the amount of hospital admissions (temperature, solar radiation, particulate matter, relative humidity and wind speed) is studied through about 8 months (May–December). Two periods are considered depending on different conditions: a) low incidence of COVID-19 and very few regulations concerning personal mobility and protection (“free/summer period”); b) increasing incidence of disease, social restrictions and use of personal protections (“confined/autumn period”). The “hospitalized people in medical area wards/100000 residents” was used as a reliable measure of COVID-19 spreading and load on the sanitary system. We developed a chemometric approach (multiple linear regression analysis) using the daily incidence of hospitalizations as a function of the single independent variables and of their products (interactions). Eight administrative domains were considered (altogether 26 million inhabitants) to account for relatively homogeneous territorial and social conditions. The obtained models very significantly match the daily variation of hospitalizations, during the two periods. Under the confined/autumn period, the effect of non-pharmacologic measures (social distances, personal protection, etc.) possibly attenuates the virus diffusion despite environmental factors. On the contrary, in the free/summer conditions the effects of atmospheric parameters are very significant through all the areas. Particulate matter matches the growth of hospitalizations in areas with low chronic particulate pollution. Fewer hospitalizations strongly correspond to higher temperature and solar radiation. Relative humidity plays the same role, but with a lesser extent. The interaction between solar radiation and high temperature is also highly significant and represents surprising evidence. The solar radiation alone and combined with high temperature exert an anti-SARS-CoV-2 effect, via both the direct inactivation of virions and the stimulation of vitamin D synthesis, improving immune system function.
... Bontempi, 2020(E. Bontempi, , 2020Coker et al., 2020;Comunian et al., 2020;Conticini et al., 2020;Filippini et al., 2020;Zoran et al., 2020aZoran et al., , 2020b. ...
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Lombardy, the most populated and industrialized Italian region, was the epicentre of the first wave (March and April, 2020) of COVID-19 in Italy and it is among the most air polluted areas of Europe. We carried out an ecological study to assess the association between long-term exposure to particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on COVID-19 incidence and all-cause mortality after accounting for demographic, socioeconomic and meteorological variables. The study was based on publicly available data. Multivariable negative binomial mixed regression models were fitted, and results were reported in terms of incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and standardized mortality ratios (SMR). The effect of winter temperature and humidity was modelled through restricted cubic spline. Data from 1,439 municipalities out of 1,507 (95%) were included in the analyses, leading to a total of 61,377 COVID-19 cases and 40,401 deaths from all-causes collected from February 20th to April 16th and from March 1st to April 30th, 2020, respectively. Several demographic and socioeconomic variables resulted significantly associated with COVID-19 incidence and all-cause mortality in a multivariable fashion. An increase in average winter temperature was associated with a nonlinear decrease in COVID-19 incidence and all-cause mortality, while an opposite trend emerged for the absolute humidity. An increase of 10 μg/m³ in the mean annual concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 over the previous years was associated with a 58% and 34% increase in COVID-19 incidence rate, respectively. Similarly, a 10 μg/m³ increase of annual mean PM2.5 concentration was associated with a 23% increase in all-cause mortality. An inverse association was found between NO2 levels and COVID-19 incidence and all-cause mortality. Our ecological study showed that exposure to PM was significantly associated with the COVID-19 incidence and excess mortality during the first wave of the outbreak in Lombardy, Italy.
... Nonetheless, in a previous study we carried out assessing both PM 10 and benzene emissions from vehicular traffic in two municipalities from the same area (i.e., Modena and Reggio Emilia), we found a correlation between the two pollutants, with a Pearson's correlation coefficient of 0.53 [34]. In addition, we did not evaluate other pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and carbon monoxide, although their correlation with PM 10 may not have been very high due to the relevance of domestic sources (i.e., energy production, heat boilers) in these emissions [25,68], while our study specifically focused on vehicular traffic air emissions. Secondly, the small sample size has affected the precision of the risk estimates, especially for the low number of exposed subjects in some exposure categories based on fixed cutpoints, hampering their interpretation. ...
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(1) Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with still unknown etiology. Some occupational and environmental risk factors have been suggested, including long-term air pollutant exposure. We carried out a pilot case-control study in order to evaluate ALS risk due to particulate matter with a diameter of ≤10 µm (PM10) as a proxy of vehicular traffic exposure. (2) Methods: We recruited ALS patients and controls referred to the Modena Neurology ALS Care Center between 1994 and 2015. Using a geographical information system, we modeled PM10 concentrations due to traffic emissions at the geocoded residence address at the date of case diagnosis. We computed the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of ALS according to increasing PM10 exposure, using an unconditional logistic regression model adjusted for age and sex. (3) Results: For the 132 study participants (52 cases and 80 controls), the average of annual median and maximum PM10 concentrations were 5.2 and 38.6 µg/m3, respectively. Using fixed cutpoints at 5, 10, and 20 of the annual median PM10 levels, and compared with exposure <5 µg/m3, we found no excess ALS risk at 5–10 µg/m3 (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.39–1.96), 10–20 µg/m3 (0.94, 95% CI 0.24–3.70), and ≥20 µg/m3 (0.87, 95% CI 0.05–15.01). Based on maximum PM10 concentrations, we found a statistically unstable excess ALS risk for subjects exposed at 10–20 µg/m3 (OR 4.27, 95% CI 0.69–26.51) compared with those exposed <10 µg/m3. However, risk decreased at 20–50 µg/m3 (OR 1.49, 95% CI 0.39–5.75) and ≥50 µg/m3 (1.16, 95% CI 0.28–4.82). ALS risk in increasing tertiles of exposure showed a similar null association, while comparison between the highest and the three lowest quartiles lumped together showed little evidence for an excess risk at PM10 concentrations (OR 1.13, 95% CI 0.50–2.55). After restricting the analysis to subjects with stable residence, we found substantially similar results. (4) Conclusions: In this pilot study, we found limited evidence of an increased ALS risk due to long-term exposure at high PM10 concentration, though the high statistical imprecision of the risk estimates, due to the small sample size, particularly in some exposure categories, limited our capacity to detect small increases in risk, and further larger studies are needed to assess this relation.
... Further studies revealed correlations between COVID-19 infection and mortality rates and concentrations of NO 2 , CO, O 3 and PM . Associations between COVID-19 infection rate and related fatality with NO 2 exposure levels have been recorded (Ogen 2020;Filippini et al. 2020). PM in particular has received significant attention, not only in view of increasing susceptibility to and morbidity from SARS-CoV-2 related respiratory infections (Comunian et al. 2020;Zoran et al. 2020), but also being an aid to the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (Setti et al. 2020a (Setti et al. 2020b, van Doremalen et al. 2020Cai et al. 2020). ...
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The nexus of COVID-19 and environment is conspicuously deep-rooted. The roles of environmental factors in the origin, transmission and spread of COVID-19 and the mutual impact of the pandemic on the global environment have been the two perspectives to view this nexus. The present paper attempts to systematically review the existing literature to understand and explore the linkages of COVID-19 with environment and proposes conceptual frameworks to underline this nexus. Our study indicates a critical role of meteorological factors, ambient air pollutants and wastewater in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2(SARS-CoV-2) transmission-spread dynamics. The study also focuses on the direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19 on the regional and global environment. Most of the indirect environmental effects of COVID-19 were attributed to global human confinement that resulted from the implementation of the pandemic containment measures. This worldwide anthropogenic ‘pause’ sent ripples to all environmental compartments and presented a unique test bed to identify anthropogenic impacts on the earth’s natural systems. The review further addresses emerging sustainability challenges in the new normal and their potential solutions. The situation warrants critical attention to the environment-COVID-19 nexus and innovative sustainable practices to address the ramifications of short- and long-term environmental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
... 8.8% declined in PM 2.5 , NO 2 , SO 2 , O 3 , and CO concentrations, respectively, in Dhaka City during the partial and full lockdown compared to the period before the lockdown. Late work using different types of remotely sensed images also confirmed the air quality improvement during the COVID-19 lockdown, quarantine, and social distancing, with studies from badly affected countries such as England (Wyche et al. 2021), Italy (Filippini et al. 2020;Sannino et al. 2020), Brazil (Brito et al. 2020), and most recently India (Naqvi et al. 2021;Sathe et al. 2021). ...
Article
The spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has engulfed the world with a rapid, unexpected, and far-reaching global crisis. In the study of COVID-19, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) have played an important role in many aspects, especially in the fight against COVID-19. This review summarises 102 scientific papers on applications of GIS and RS on studies of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, two themes of GIS and RS-related applications are grouped into the six categories of studies of the COVID-19 including spatio-temporal changes, WebGISbased mapping, the correlation between the COVID-19 and natural, socio-economic factors, and the environmental impacts. The findings of this study provide insight into how to apply new techniques (GIS and RS) to better understand, better manage the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and effectively assess its impacts.
... In summary, a larger susceptible population may lie at the origin of the higher impact of COVID-19 in Lombardy compared with Veneto and Emilia-Romagna, which were simultaneously hit by the outbreak. This may in turn reflect a combination of causes including geographical segregation of the population, lifestyle, social habits, and environmental factors such as air pollution and climate conditions, that may favor the virus persistence and thus individual exposure (1,25). Interestingly, the model inversion uncovered peculiar values for the testing parameters of Veneto, in line with the more effective prevention policies adopted by this region since the beginning of the outbreak, which included testing both symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects, while in other regions, only symptomatic cases were investigated (26,27). ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked an intense debate about the hidden factors underlying the dynamics of the outbreak. Several computational models have been proposed to inform effective social and healthcare strategies. Crucially, the predictive validity of these models often depends upon incorporating behavioral and social responses to infection. Among these tools, the analytic framework known as “dynamic causal modeling” (DCM) has been applied to the COVID-19 pandemic, shedding new light on the factors underlying the dynamics of the outbreak. We have applied DCM to data from northern Italian regions, the first areas in Europe to contend with the outbreak, and analyzed the predictive validity of the model and also its suitability in highlighting the hidden factors governing the pandemic diffusion. By taking into account data from the beginning of the pandemic, the model could faithfully predict the dynamics of outbreak diffusion varying from region to region. The DCM appears to be a reliable tool to investigate the mechanisms governing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 to identify the containment and control strategies that could efficiently be used to counteract further waves of infection.
... However, it is likely that most of the changes observed in 2020 in terms of emissions are temporary, since no structural changes are reflected in the economic or transport systems [8]. Moreover, several studies have shown that poor air quality is related to increases in infections and mortality due to COVID-19 [77][78][79][80]. This would indicate that a reduction in emissions and improvements in air quality could also reduce the rate of infection and mortality due to COVID-19 [47,[81][82][83][84][85]. ...
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The aim of this work was to analyze the changes in the emissions from the transport sector during the COVID-19 lockdown in Colombia. We compared estimated emissions from road transportation of four groups of pollutants, namely, greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O), ozone precursor gases (CO, NMVOC, NOx), aerosols (BC, PM2.5, PM10), and acidifying gases (NH3, SO2), during the first half of 2020 with values obtained in the same period of 2018. The estimate of emissions from road transportation was determined using a standardized methodology consistent with the 2006 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories and the European Environment Agency/European Monitoring and Evaluation Program. We found a substantial reduction in GHG emissions for CH4, N2O, and CO2 by 17%, 21%, and 28%, respectively. The ozone precursors CO and NMVOC presented a decrease of 21% and 22%, respectively, while NOx emissions were reduced up to 15% for the study period. In addition, BC decreased 15%, and there was a reduction of 17% for both PM10 and PM2.5 emissions. Finally, acidifying gases presented negative variations of 19% for SO2 and 23% for NH3 emissions. Furthermore, these results were consistent with the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) satellite observations and measurements at air quality stations. Our results suggest that the largest decreases were due to the reduction in the burning of gasoline and diesel oil from the transport sector during the COVID-19 lockdown. These results can serve decision makers in adopting strategies to improve air quality related to the analyzed sector.
... These recurrent local exacerbations of the pandemic present an opportunity to study the spread of the virus within a population. Key features of the pandemic are still not well understood, such as the susceptibility of the population to subsequent waves after the first outbreak, the threshold for herd immunity, the role of superspreaders [1][2][3][4][5][6][7] as well as of meteorological and environmental factors [8][9][10][11]. ...
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Background The relation between the magnitude of successive waves of the COVID-19 outbreak within the same communities could be useful in predicting the scope of new outbreaks. Methods We investigated the extent to which COVID-19 mortality in Italy during the second wave was related to first wave mortality within the same provinces. We compared data on province-specific COVID-19 2020 mortality in two time periods, corresponding to the first wave (February 24–June 30, 2020) and to the second wave (September 1–December 31, 2020), using cubic spline regression. Results For provinces with the lowest crude mortality rate in the first wave (February–June), i.e. < 22 cases/100,000/month, mortality in the second wave (September–December) was positively associated with mortality during the first wave. In provinces with mortality greater than 22/100,000/month during the first wave, higher mortality in the first wave was associated with a lower second wave mortality. Results were similar when the analysis was censored at October 2020, before the implementation of region-specific measures against the outbreak. Neither vaccination nor variant spread had any role during the study period. Conclusions These findings indicate that provinces with the most severe initial COVID-19 outbreaks, as assessed through mortality data, faced milder second waves.
... Italy is one of the first and most severely affected country in Europe, with its first indigenous case identified on February 21, 2020 (4). As a consequence, in the period February-June 2020 Italy experienced a first wave that severely affected mainly the North of the country (5,6), led to a tight lockdown (7), with regional differences possibly related to genetic, clinical, lifestyle, and environmental factors (8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13)(14)(15), followed by a decline in the summer period (4,5). ...
Article
Background and aim: In early 2020, SARS-CoV-2 was declared a pandemic by the WHO and Italy was one of the first and most severely affected country in Europe. Despite the global interest about COVID-19 pandemic, several aspects of this infection are still unclear, especially in pediatric population. This study aims to investigate the characteristics of the isolated or quarantined children and adolescents followed by the Public Health Department of the Italian province of Modena during the first wave of COVID-19. Methods: The study population included all non-adult subjects aged 0-18 years who underwent isolation or quarantine during the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic from February 24 to June 18, 2020 in Modena province, Northern Italy. Results: In Modena province, 1230 children and adolescents were isolated in case of SARS-CoV-2 infection (6.3%), or quarantined due to close contact with confirmed cases (88.7%) or travelling from a high-risk area (5.0%). Among 349 individuals who underwent swab testing, 294 (84.2%) reported close contact with an infected cohabiting relative and 158 (45.3%) were symptomatic. Among all tested subjects, 78 (22.4%) resulted positive, with a higher proportion of symptomatic subjects compared with the SARS-CoV-2-negative (78.2% vs. 35.8%). Fever was mostly present in SARS-CoV-2-positive children (48.7% vs. 12.6%). Both anosmia (58.3% vs. 41.7%) and dysgeusia (54.5% vs. 45.5%) had only slightly higher frequency in SARS-CoV-2-positive. Conclusions: These findings allow to expand the knowledge regarding characteristics of non-adult subjects isolated or quarantined during the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. (www.actabiomedica.it).
... Factors associated with increased susceptibility to COVID-19 onset and severity, following the infection with SARS-CoV-2, have been shown to be male sex, and presence of a comorbidity such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or chronic lung disease (15,16). Also, environmental factors may play a role increasing COVID-19 susceptibility and severity (17)(18)(19)(20)(21) as also reported in previous studies carried out in Northern Italy suggesting a positive association between air pollutant levels with both SARS-CoV-2 incidence and COVID-19 mortality (22)(23)(24). ...
Article
Background and aim: The exact COVID-19 severity is still not well defined and it is hotly debated due to the a few methodological issues such as the uncertainties about the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods: We investigated COVID-19 case-fatality rate and infection-fatality rate in 2020 in Italy, a country severely affected by the pandemic, basing our assessment on publicly available data, and calculating such measures during the first and second waves. Results: We found that province-specific crude case-fatality rate in the first wave (February-July 2020) had a median value of 12.0%. Data about infection-fatality rate was more difficult to compute, due to large underestimation of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the first wave when asymptomatic individuals were very rarely tested. However, when using as a reference population-based seroprevalence data for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies collected in May-July 2020, we computed an infection-fatality rate of 2.2%. During the second wave (Sep-Dec 2020), when SARS-CoV-2 testing was greatly increased and extended to many asymptomatic individuals, we could only compute a 'hybrid' case/infection-fatality rate with a value of 2.2%, similar to the infection-fatality rate of the first wave. Conclusions: Overall, this study allowed to assess the COVID-19 case- and infection-fatality rates in Italy before of variant spread and vaccine availability, confirming their high values compared with other airborne infections like influenza. Our findings for Italy were similar to those characterizing other Western European countries.
... The reductions in social and economic activities and in the related atmospheric emissions caused a change in air quality that has been evidenced by satellite data [1][2][3][4]. Recently, a number of papers have been published reporting the changes in concentration levels for certain pollutants in different areas worldwide, where light or heavy restrictive measures have been implemented [5]. ...
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The impact of the reduced atmospheric emissions due to the COVID-19 lockdown on ambient air quality in the Po Valley of Northern Italy was assessed for gaseous pollutants (NO2, benzene, ammonia) based on data collected at the monitoring stations distributed all over the area. Concentration data for each month of the first semester of 2020 were compared with those of the previous six years, on monthly, daily, and hourly bases, so that pre, during, and post-lockdown conditions of air quality could be separately analyzed. The results show that, as in many other areas worldwide, the Po Valley experienced better air quality during 2020 spring months for NO2 and benzene. In agreement with the reductions of nitrogen oxides and benzene emissions from road traffic, estimated to be −35% compared to the regional average, the monthly mean concentration levels for 2020 showed reductions in the −40% to −35% range compared with the previous years, but with higher reductions, close to −50%, at high-volume-traffic sites in urban areas. Conversely, NH3 ambient concentration levels, almost entirely due the emissions of the agricultural sector, did not show any relevant change, even at high-volume-traffic sites in urban areas. These results point out the important role of traffic emissions in NO2 and benzene ambient levels in the Po Valley, and confirm that this region is a rather homogeneous air basin with urban area hot-spots, the contributions of which add up to a relatively high regional background concentration level. Additionally, the relatively slow response of the air quality levels to the sudden decrease of the emissions due to the lockdown shows that this region is characterized by a weak exchange of the air masses that favors both the build-up of atmospheric pollutants and the development of secondary formation processes. Thus, air quality control strategies should aim for structural interventions intended to reduce traffic emissions at the regional scale and not only in the largest urban areas.
... The impact of indoor environment quality on occupant health has long been one of the focus of architecture and public health research. Recent findings partially support the hypothesis that air pollution can increase susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection (Filippini et al., 2020;Zhao et al., 2020). Previous studies have identified various indicators of indoor environment quality, including IAQ, thermal comfort, and visual and acoustic conditions. ...
Article
To effectively reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, it is crucial to highlight the effectiveness of building design strategies in mitigating threats to occupants. The ongoing pandemic research and actions focus on how poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) amplifies the effects of airborne viruses. This review aims to draw architects' attention toward the high risk of airborne transmission of diseases by providing the latest updates and solutions to understand better the environmental and health issues associated with COVID-19. Based on the complexity of the problem and the need for interdisciplinary research, this study presents a conceptual model that addresses the integration of engineering controls, design strategies and, air disinfection techniques required to achieve a better IAQ.
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The health emergency linked to the spread of COVID‐19 has led to important reduction in industrial and logistics activities, as well as to a drastic changes in citizens’ behaviours and habits. The restrictions on working activities, journeys and relationships imposed by the lockdown have had important consequences, including for environmental quality. This review aims to provide a structured and critical evaluation of the recent scientific bibliography that analysed and described the impact of lockdown on human activities and on air quality. The results indicate an important effect of the lockdown during the first few months of 2020 on air pollution levels, compared to previous periods. The concentrations of particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide have decreased. Tropospheric ozone, on the other hand, has significantly increased. These results are important indicators that can become decision drivers for future policies and strategies in industrial and logistics activities (including the mobility sector) aimed at their environmental sustainability. The scenario imposed by COVID‐19 has supported the understanding of the link between the reduction of polluting emissions and the state of air quality and will be able to support strategic choices for the future sustainable growth of the industrial and logistics sector. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Exposure to air pollutants has been associated with respiratory viral infections. Epidemiological studies have shown that air pollution exposure is related to increased cases of SARS‐COV‐2 infection and COVID‐19‐associated mortality. In addition, the changes of meteorological parameters have also been implicated in the occurrence and development of COVID‐19. However, the molecular mechanisms by which pollutant exposure and changes of meteorological parameters affects COVID‐19 remains unknown. This review summarizes the biology of COVID‐19 and the route of viral transmission, and elaborates on the relationship between air pollution and climate indicators and COVID‐19. Finally, we envisaged the potential roles of air pollution and meteorological parameters in COVID‐19.
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The evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitates timely estimates of the resultant perturbations to anthropogenic emissions. Here we present a novel framework based on the relationships between observed column abundance and wind speed to rapidly estimate air basin-scale NOx emission rate and apply it at the Po Valley in Italy using OMI and TROPOMI NO2 tropospheric column observations. The NOx chemical lifetime is retrieved together with the emission rate and found to be 15–20 h in winter and 5–6 h in summer. A statistical model is trained using the estimated emission rates before the pandemic to predict the trajectory without COVID-19. Compared with this business-as-usual trajectory, the real 2020 emission rates show two distinctive drops in March (−41 %) and November (−35 %) that correspond to tightened COVID-19 control measures. The temporal variation of pandemic-induced NOx emission changes qualitatively agree with Google and Apple mobility indicators. The overall net NOx emission reduction in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to be 21 %.
Article
One contemporary issue is how environmental pollution and climate can affect the dissemination and severity of COVID-19 in humans. We documented the first case of association between particulate matter ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5) and COVID-19 mortality rates that involved rural and medium-sized municipalities in northwestern Mexico, where direct air quality monitoring is absent. Alternatively, anthropogenic PM2.5 emissions were used to estimate the PM2.5 exposure in each municipality using two scenarios: 1) considering the fraction derived from combustion of vehicle fuel; and 2) the one derived from modeled anthropogenic sources. This study provides insights to better understand and face future pandemics by examining the relation between PM2.5 pollution and COVID-19 mortality considering the population density and the wind speed. The main findings are: (i) municipalities with high PM2.5 emissions and high population density have a higher COVID-19 mortality rate; (ii) the exceptionally high COVID-19 mortality rates of the rural municipalities could be associated to dust events, which are common in these regions where soils without vegetation are dominant; and (iii) the influence of wind speed on COVID-19 mortality rate was evidenced only in municipalities with <100 inhabitants per km². These results confirm the suggestion that high levels of air pollutants associated with high population density and an elevated frequency of dust events may promote an extended prevalence and severity of viral particles in the polluted air of urban, suburban, and rural communities. This supports an additional means of dissemination of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, in addition to the direct human-to-human transmission.
Article
Zero Energy Buildings (ZEBs) are expected to play a significant role in reducing energy consumption and combating climate change. Despite this awareness, there is a lack of approaches and indicators at the regulatory level to quantify the long-term potential of strategies applied to buildings today. This study concerns the dynamic thermal modeling over the years, until 2080, of a multi-residential building located in Lecce, a city in southeastern Italy, characterized by a Mediterranean hot summer climate. Over time, Italian legislation has brought increasingly stringent limits on the design of the building envelope. Although with different regulatory limits, in the different climates across Italy, a growing trend towards a more insulated envelope, characterized by very low transmittances, has been observed over the years. This study shows how, in hot climates, buildings constructed within the legal limits will suffer from overheating over the years, necessarily leading to a disproportionate, and more extensive, use of cooling systems throughout the year. This study proposes a critical analysis of the long-term effectiveness of national strategies applied to the building envelope to date to achieve the ZEB goal, emphasizing that long-term predictive analyses become relevant in current building design and should be considered in regulations.
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The increasing frequency of zoonotic diseases is amongst several catastrophic repercussions of inadequate environmental management. Emergence, prevalence, and lethality of zoonotic diseases is intrinsically linked to environmental management which are currently at a destructive level globally. The effects of these links are complicated and interdependent, creating an urgent need of elucidating the role of environmental mismanagement to improve our resilience to future pandemics. This review focused on the pertinent role of forests, outdoor air, indoor air, solid waste and wastewater management in COVID-19 dissemination to analyze the opportunities prevailing to control infectious diseases considering relevant data from previous disease outbreaks. Global forest management is currently detrimental and hotspots of forest fragmentation have demonstrated to result in zoonotic disease emergences. Deforestation is reported to increase susceptibility to COVID-19 due to wildfire induced pollution and loss of forest ecosystem services. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 like viruses in multiple animal species also point to the impacts of biodiversity loss and forest fragmentation in relation to COVID-19. Available literature on air quality and COVID-19 have provided insights into the potential of air pollutants acting as plausible virus carrier and aggravating immune responses and expression of ACE2 receptors. SARS-CoV-2 is detected in outdoor air, indoor air, solid waste, wastewater and shown to prevail on solid surfaces and aerosols for prolonged hours. Furthermore, lack of protection measures and safe disposal options in waste management are evoking concerns especially in underdeveloped countries due to high infectivity of SARS-CoV-2. Inadequate legal framework and non-adherence to environmental regulations were observed to aggravate the postulated risks and vulnerability to future waves of pandemics. Our understanding underlines the urgent need to reinforce the fragile status of global environmental management systems through the development of strict legislative frameworks and enforcement by providing institutional, financial and technical supports.
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Several measures have been taken to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, almost all non-essential activities in Morocco have been halted since March 20, 2020. From that date, Morocco announced the lockdown for one month and it was extended until June 10, 2020. The main objective of this paper is to study the effects of the lockdown measures on air quality, by analyzing dust PM2.5, NO2, and O3. The dust PM2.5 analysis was carried out from 2016 to 2020. NO2 and O3 analysis was carried out in 2019 and 2020. This study, which is based on satellite data from TROPOMI Sentinel 5P and MERRA, has shown that Morocco has experienced an improvement in air quality during the lockdown. A significant reduction in surface dust PM2.5 and tropospheric NO2 was observed (-10%, -4%, respectively on average). The total column of ozone recorded a slight increase on average of around 1%. Moreover, we demonstrate that a significant part of particulate pollution and NO2 emissions are incoming mainly from the northern and northern-eastern borders of Morocco.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has a close relationship with local environmental conditions. This study explores the effects of climate characteristics and air pollution on COVID-19 in Isfahan province, Iran. A number of COVID-19 positive cases, main air pollutants, air quality index (AQI), and climatic variables were received from March 1, 2020, to January 19, 2021. Moreover, CO, NO2, and O3 tropospheric levels were collected using Sentinel-5P satellite data. The spatial distribution of variables was estimated by the ordinary Kriging and inverse weighted distance (IDW) models. A generalized linear model (GLM) was used to analyze the relationship between environmental variables and COVID-19. The seasonal trend of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), wind speed, solar energy, and rainfall like COVID-19 was upward in spring and summer. The high and low temperatures increased from April to August. All variables had a spatial autocorrelation and clustered pattern except AQI. Furthermore, COVID-19 showed a significant association with month, climate, solar energy, and NO2. Suitable policy implications are recommended to be performed for improving people’s healthcare and control of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study could survey the local spread of COVID-19, with consideration of the effect of environmental variables, and provides helpful information to health ministry decisions for mitigating harmful effects of environmental change. By means of the proposed approach, probably the COVID-19 spread can be recognized by knowing the regional climate in major cities. The present study also finds that COVID-19 may have an effect on climatic condition and air pollutants.
Chapter
Satellite data are widely used to study the spatial component of epidemics: to monitor their evolution, to create epidemiological risk maps and predictive models. The improvement of data quality, not only in technical terms but also of scientific relevance and robustness, represents in this context one of the most important aspects for health information technology that can make further significant and useful progress in monitoring and managing epidemics. In this regard, this paper intends to address an issue that is not always adequately considered in the use of satellite data for the creation of maps and spatial models of epidemics, namely the preliminary verification of the level of spatial correlation between remote sensing environmental variables and epidemics. Specifically, we intend to evaluate the contribution of exposure to the pollutant nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ) on the spatial spread of the virus and the severity of the current COVID infection.
Article
Background Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is known to affect human health, causing heart and cardiovascular diseases, and it has been shown that locations with long term NO2 pollution recorded a high number of fatalities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are no ground stations monitoring emissions of NO2 over West Africa. The present study aimed to use satellite observations to examine pollutant trends over this region. Objective To examine the trend of NO2 over the entire West Africa sub region in relationship to contributions to environmental emissions using satellite-derived data. This enables the assessment of West Africa regional air pollution hot spots in relationship to enhancing atmospheric factors. The results from this study will also be useful guidance for setting air quality standards for air pollution controls to minimize health hazards. Methods The present study examined thirteen years of average monthly values of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) to determine the spatio-temporal variation of this pollutant over West Africa. Satellite data for NO2 between 2005 and 2017 were used to determine the variation in pollution levels over West Africa. Correlations between NO2 and meteorological variables (wind speed, rainfall and air temperature) were obtained to explain the influence of West African weather on the region's pollution accumulation. Results The present study observed that NO2 concentrations varied from place to place and from season to season. Nitrogen dioxide concentrations during the dry season were higher (sometimes 200% higher) than values observed in the wet season which ranged between 0.5 and 6×1015 molec/cm2. Nitrogen dioxide north-south oscillation during the course of a year is largely controlled by the inter-tropical discontinuity (ITD) zone as high concentrations of NO2 are found in the vicinity of the ITD where wind speeds and horizontal vorticity approaches zero. Correlation analysis between NO2 and some atmospheric variables indicated NO2 concentrations are well influenced by atmospheric variables showing bipolar signals depending on the season. An increasing trend of NO2 was also found over selected cities of the region. This indicated that regional air quality is gradually deteriorating. Conclusions The implications of worsening regional air quality were examined in the light of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. The dominant atmospheric factor determining pollution episodes in the region is the inter-tropical discontinuity line which marks the meeting point between the two wind regimes over the region. Densely populated areas are characteristically prone to elevated pollution and have experienced high fatalities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Competing Interests The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Objectives A number of studies have shown that the airborne transmission route could spread some viruses over a distance of 2 meters from an infected person. An epidemic model based only on respiratory droplets and close contact could not fully explain the regional differences in the spread of COVID-19 in Italy. On March 16th 2020, we presented a position paper proposing a research hypothesis concerning the association between higher mortality rates due to COVID-19 observed in Northern Italy and average concentrations of PM10 exceeding a daily limit of 50 µg/m3. Methods To monitor the spreading of COVID-19 in Italy from February 24th to March 13th (the date of the Italian lockdown), official daily data for PM10 levels were collected from all Italian provinces between February 9th and February 29th, taking into account the maximum lag period (14 days) between the infection and diagnosis. In addition to the number of exceedances of the daily limit value of PM 10, we also considered population data and daily travelling information for each province. Results Exceedance of the daily limit value of PM10 appears to be a significant predictor of infection in univariate analyses (p<0.001). Less polluted provinces had a median of 0.03 infections over 1000 residents, while the most polluted provinces showed a median of 0.26 cases. Thirty-nine out of 41 Northern Italian provinces resulted in the category with the highest PM10 levels, while 62 out of 66 Southern provinces presented low PM10 concentrations (p<0.001). In Milan, the average growth rate before the lockdown was significantly higher than in Rome (0.34 vs 0.27 per day, with a doubling time of 2.0 days vs 2.6, respectively), thus suggesting a basic reproductive number R 0>6.0, comparable with the highest values estimated for China. Conclusion A significant association has been found between the geographical distribution of daily PM10 exceedances and the initial spreading of COVID-19 in the 110 Italian provinces
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The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a highly pathogenic, transmittable and invasive pneumococcal disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which emerged in December 2019 and January 2020 in Wuhan city, Hubei province, China and fast spread later on the middle of February 2020 in the Northern part of Italy and Europe. This study investigates the correlation between the degree of accelerated diffusion and lethality of COVID-19 and the surface air pollution in Milan metropolitan area, Lombardy region, Italy. Daily average concentrations of inhalable particulate matter (PM) in two size fractions PM2.5, PM10 and maxima PM10 ground level atmospheric pollutants together air quality and climate variables (daily average temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, atmospheric pressure field and Planetary Boundary Layer-PBL height) collected during 1 January–30 April 2020 were analyzed. In spite of being considered primarily transmitted by indoor bioaerosols droplets and infected surfaces, or direct human-to-human personal contacts, it seems that high levels of urban air pollution, weather and specific climate conditions have a significant impact on the increased rates of confirmed COVID-19 Total number, Daily New and Total Deaths cases, possible attributed not only to indoor but also to outdoor airborne bioaerosols distribution. Our analysis demonstrates the strong influence of daily averaged ground levels of particulate matter concentrations, positively associated with average surface air temperature and inversely related to air relative humidity on COVID-19 cases outbreak in Milan. Being a novel pandemic coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) version, COVID-19 might be ongoing during summer conditions associated with higher temperatures and low humidity levels. Presently is not clear if this protein “spike” of the new coronavirus COVID-19 is involved through attachment mechanisms on indoor or outdoor airborne aerosols in the infectious agent transmission from a reservoir to a susceptible host in some agglomerated urban areas like Milan is.
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Objectives Although the COVID-19 is known to cause by human-to-human transmission, it remains largely unclear whether ambient air pollutants and meteorological parameters could promote its transmission. Methods A retrospective study is conducted to study whether air quality index (AQI), four ambient air pollutants (PM2.5, PM10, NO2 and CO) and five meteorological variables (daily temperature, highest temperature, lowest temperature, temperature difference and sunshine duration) could increase COVID-19 incidence in Wuhan and XiaoGan between Jan 26th to Feb 29th in 2020. Results First, a significant correlation was found between COVID-19 incidence and AQI in both Wuhan (R² = 0.13, p < 0.05) and XiaoGan (R² = 0.223, p < 0.01). Specifically, among four pollutants, COVID-19 incidence was prominently correlated with PM2.5 and NO2 in both cities. In Wuhan, the tightest correlation was observed between NO2 and COVID-19 incidence (R² = 0.329, p < 0.01). In XiaoGan, in addition to the PM2.5 (R² = 0.117, p < 0.01) and NO2 (R² = 0.015, p < 0.05), a notable correlation was also observed between the PM10 and COVID-19 incidence (R² = 0.105, p < 0.05). Moreover, temperature is the only meteorological parameter that constantly correlated well with COVID-19 incidence in both Wuhan and XiaoGan, but in an inverse correlation (p < 0.05). Conclusions AQI, PM2.5, NO2, and temperature are four variables that could promote the sustained transmission of COVID-19.
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Background The burden of COVID-19 was extremely severe in Northern Italy, an area characterized by high concentrations of particulate matter (PM), which is known to negatively affect human health. Consistently with evidence already available for other viruses, we initially hypothesized the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 presence on PM, and we performed a first experiment specifically aimed at confirming or excluding this research hyphotesys. Methods We have colelcted 34 PM10 samples in Bergamo area (the epicenter of the Italian COVID-19 epidemic) by using two air samplers over a continuous 3-weeks period. Filters were properly stored and underwent RNA extraction and amplification according to WHO protocols in two parallel blind analyses performed by two different authorized laboratories. Up to three highly specific molecular marker genes (E, N, and RdRP) were used to test the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA on particulate matter. Results The first test showed positive results for gene E in 15 out of 16 samples, simultaneously displaying positivity also for RdRP gene in 4 samples. The second blind test got 5 additional positive results for at least one ofthe three marker genes. Overall, we tested 34 RNA extractions for the E, N and RdRP genes, reporting 20 positive results for at least one of the three marker genes, with positivity separately confirmed for all the three markers. Control tests to exclude false positivities were successfully accomplished. Conclusion This is the first evidence that SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be present on PM, thus suggesting a possible use as indicator of epidemic recurrence.
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Objectives In areas of SARS-CoV-2 outbreak worldwide mean air pollutants concentrations vastly exceed the maximum limits. Chronic exposure to air pollutants have been associated with lung ACE-2 over-expression which is known to be the main receptor for SARS-coV2. The aim of this study was to analyse the relationship between air pollutants concentration (PM 2.5 and NO2) and COVID-19 outbreak, in terms of transmission, number of patients, severity of presentation and number of deaths. Methods COVID-19 cases, ICU admissions and mortality rate were correlated with severity of air pollution in the Italian regions. Results The highest number of COVID-19 cases were recorded in the most polluted regions with patients presenting with more severe forms of the disease requiring ICU admission. In these regions, mortality was two-fold higher than the other regions. Conclusions From the data available we propose a “double-hit hypothesis”: chronic exposure to PM 2.5 causes alveolar ACE-2 receptor overexpression. This may increase viral load in patients exposed to pollutants in turn depleting ACE-2 receptors and impairing host defences. High atmospheric NO2 may provide a second hit causing a severe form of SARS-CoV-19 in ACE-2 depleted lungs resulting in a worse outcome.
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Highlights • Developmental exposure to environmental factors can disrupt the immune system. • Long-term low-dose exposure to chemical mixtures is linked to imunodeficiency • Immunodeficiency contributes to chronic diseases and the current Covid-19 pandemics. • Environmental chemicals and microorganisms share similar molecular pathomechanisms (AhR pathway). • Understanding the underlying pathomechanisms helps to improve public health. Occupational, residential, dietary and environmental exposures to mixtures of synthetic anthropogenic chemicals after World War II have a strong relationship with the increase of chronic diseases, health cost and environmental pollution. The link between environment and immunity is particularly intriguing as it is known that chemicals and drugs can cause immunotoxicity (e.g., allergies and autoimmune diseases). In this review, we emphasize the relationship between long-term exposure to xenobiotic mixtures and immune deficiency inherent to chronic diseases and epidemics/pandemics. We also address the immunotoxicologic risk of vulnerable groups, taking into account biochemical and biophysical properties of SARS-CoV-2 and its immunopathological implications. We particularly underline the common mechanisms by which xenobiotics and SARS-CoV-2 act at the cellular and molecular level. We discuss how long-term exposure to thousand chemicals in mixtures, mostly fossil fuel derivatives, exposure toparticle matters, metals, ultraviolet (UV)–B radiation, ionizing radiation and lifestyle contribute to immunodeficiency observed in the contemporary pandemic, such as COVID-19, and thus threaten global public health, human prosperity and achievements, and global economy. Finally, we propose metrics which are needed to address the diverse health effects of anthropogenic COVID-19 crisis at present and those required to prevent similar future pandemics.
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Background An epidemic model based only on respiratory droplets and close contact could not fully explain the regional differences in the spread of the recent severe acute respiratory syndrome COVID-19 in Italy, which was fast and dramatic only in Lombardy and Po Valley. On March 16 th 2020, we presented a Position Paper proposing a research hypothesis concerning the association between higher mortality rates due to COVID-19 observed in Northern Italy and the peaks of particulate matter concentrations, frequently exceeding the legal limit of 50 µg/m ³ as PM 10 daily average Methods To assess environmental factors related to the spread of the COVID-19 in Italy from February 24 th to March 13 th (the date when the lockdown has been imposed over Italy), official daily data relevant to ambient PM 10 levels were collected from all Italian Provinces between February 9 th and February 29 th , taking into account the average time (estimated in 17 days) elapsed between the initial infection and the recorded COVID positivity. In addition to the number of exceedances of PM 10 daily limit value, we considered also population data and daily travelling information per each Province. Results PM 10 daily limit value exceedances appear to be a significant predictor (p < .001) of infection in univariate analyses. Less polluted Provinces had a median of 0.03 infection cases over 1000 residents, while most polluted Provinces had a median of 0.26 cases over 1000 residents. Thirty-nine out of 41 Northern Italian Provinces resulted in the category with highest PM 10 levels, while 62 out of 66 Southern Provinces presented low PM 10 concentrations (p< 0.001). In Milan, the average growth rate before the lockdown was significantly higher than Rome (0.34 vs. 0.27 per day, with a doubling time of 2.0 days vs. 2.6), suggesting a basic reproductive number R 0 >6.0, comparable with the highest values estimated for China.
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In December 2019, some cases of viral pneumonia were epidemiologically related to a new coronavirus in the province of Hubei, China. Subsequently, there has been an increase in infections attributable to this virus throughout China and worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially named the infection coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and the virus has been classified as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This appears to be a virus from Rhinolophus bats, but the intermediate host has not yet been identified. The mechanism of infection of SARS-CoV-2 is not yet known; it appears to have affinity for cells located in the lower airways, where it replicates. The interhuman transmission of coronaviruses mainly occurs through saliva droplets and direct and indirect contact via surfaces. As of March 10, 2020, the number of cases worldwide was 113,702. Along with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (MERS), COVID-19 appears to cause a severe clinical picture in humans, ranging from mild malaise to death by sepsis/acute respiratory distress syndrome. The prognosis is worse in elderly patients with comorbidities. To date, there is no specific therapy for COVID-19. Prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection implies strategies that limit the spread of the virus. WHO and other international and national bodies have developed continuously updated strategic objectives and provisions to contain the spread of the virus and infection.
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Objectives: United States government scientists estimate that COVID-19 may kill tens of thousands of Americans. Many of the pre-existing conditions that increase the risk of death in those with COVID-19 are the same diseases that are affected by long-term exposure to air pollution. We investigated whether long-term average exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 death in the United States. Design: A nationwide, cross-sectional study using county-level data. Data sources: COVID-19 death counts were collected for more than 3,000 counties in the United States (representing 98% of the population) up to April 22, 2020 from Johns Hopkins University, Center for Systems Science and Engineering Coronavirus Resource Center. Main outcome measures: We fit negative binomial mixed models using county-level COVID-19 deaths as the outcome and county-level long-term average of PM2.5 as the exposure. In the main analysis, we adjusted by 20 potential confounding factors including population size, age distribution, population density, time since the beginning of the outbreak, time since state’s issuance of stay-at-home order, hospital beds, number of individuals tested, weather, and socioeconomic and behavioral variables such as obesity and smoking. We included a random intercept by state to account for potential correlation in counties within the same state. We conducted more than 68 additional sensitivity analyses. Results: We found that an increase of only 1 μg/m3 in PM2.5 is associated with an 8% increase in the COVID-19 death rate (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2%, 15%). The results were statistically significant and robust to secondary and sensitivity analyses. Conclusions: A small increase in long-term exposure to PM2.5 leads to a large increase in the COVID-19 death rate. Despite the inherent limitations of the ecological study design, our results underscore the importance of continuing to enforce existing air pollution regulations to protect human health both during and after the COVID-19 crisis. The data and code are publicly available so our analyses can be updated routinely.
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By collecting daily data on measles cases, air pollutants, and meteorological data from 2005 to 2009 in Chengguan District of Lanzhou City, semi-parametric generalized additive model (GAM) was used to quantitatively study the impact of air pollutants and meteorological factors on daily measles cases. The results showed that air pollutants and meteorological factors had effect on the number of daily measles cases, and there was a certain lag effect. Except for SO2 and relative humidity, other factors showed statistically significant associations with daily measles cases: NO2 lag 6 days, PM10 and maximum temperature lag 5 days, minimum temperature and average temperature and average air pressure lag 4 days, visibility, and wind speed lag 3 days had the greatest impact on the number of daily measles cases. Under the optimum lag conditions, the number of daily measles cases increased by 15.1%, 17.6%, 7.0%, 116.6%, 98.6%, 85.7%, and 14.4% with the increase of 1 IQR in SO2, NO2, PM10, maximum temperature, minimum temperature, average temperature, and wind speed; with the increase of 1 IQR in average pressure, relative humidity, visibility, and daily measles cases decreased by 12.8%, 9.7%, and 13.1%, respectively. And different factors showed different seasonal effects. The effects of SO2 and temperature factors on daily measles cases were greater in spring and winter, but PM10 in summer.
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We present a comparison between satellite-based TROPOMI (TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument) NO2 products and ground-based observations in Helsinki (Finland). TROPOMI NO2 total (summed) columns are compared with the measurements performed by the Pandora spectrometer between April and September 2018. The mean relative and absolute bias between the TROPOMI and Pandora NO2 total columns is about 10 % and 0.12×1015 molec. cm−2 respectively. The dispersion of these differences (estimated as their standard deviation) is 2.2×1015 molec. cm−2. We find high correlation (r = 0.68) between satellite- and ground-based data, but also that TROPOMI total columns underestimate ground-based observations for relatively large Pandora NO2 total columns, corresponding to episodes of relatively elevated pollution. This is expected because of the relatively large size of the TROPOMI ground pixel (3.5×7 km) and the a priori used in the retrieval compared to the relatively small field-of-view of the Pandora instrument. On the other hand, TROPOMI slightly overestimates (within the retrieval uncertainties) relatively small NO2 total columns. Replacing the coarse a priori NO2 profiles with high-resolution profiles from the CAMS chemical transport model improves the agreement between TROPOMI and Pandora total columns for episodes of NO2 enhancement. When only the low values of NO2 total columns or the whole dataset are taken into account, the mean bias slightly increases. The change in bias remains mostly within the uncertainties. We also analyse the consistency between satellite-based data and in situ NO2 surface concentrations measured at the Helsinki–Kumpula air quality station (located a few metres from the Pandora spectrometer). We find similar day-to-day variability between TROPOMI, Pandora and in situ measurements, with NO2 enhancements observed during the same days. Both satellite- and ground-based data show a similar weekly cycle, with lower NO2 levels during the weekend compared to the weekdays as a result of reduced emissions from traffic and industrial activities (as expected in urban sites). The TROPOMI NO2 maps reveal also spatial features, such as the main traffic ways and the airport area, as well as the effect of the prevailing south-west wind patterns. This is one of the first works in which TROPOMI NO2 retrievals are validated against ground-based observations and the results provide an early evaluation of their applicability for monitoring pollution levels in urban sites. Overall, TROPOMI retrievals are valuable to complement the ground-based air quality data (available with high temporal resolution) for describing the spatio-temporal variability of NO2, even in a relatively small city like Helsinki.
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Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a regulated air pollutant that is of particular concern in many cities, where concentrations are high. Emissions of nitrogen oxides to the atmosphere lead to the formation of ozone and particulate matter, with adverse impacts on human health and ecosystems. The effects of emissions are often assessed through modeling based on inventories relying on indirect information that is often outdated or incomplete. Here we show that NO2 measurements from the new, high-resolution TROPOMI satellite sensor can directly determine the strength and distribution of emissions from Paris. From the observed build-up of NO2 pollution, we find highest emissions on cold weekdays in February 2018, and lowest emissions on warm weekend days in spring 2018. The new measurements provide information on the spatio-temporal distribution of emissions within a large city, and suggest that Paris emissions in 2018 are only 5–15% below inventory estimates for 2011–2012, reflecting the difficulty of meeting NOx emission reduction targets.
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The unprecedented 2015 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N2 in the U.S. devastated its poultry industry and resulted in over $3 billion economic impacts. Today HPAI continues eroding poultry operations and disrupting animal protein supply chains around the world. Anecdotal evidence in 2015 suggested that in some cases the AI virus was aerially introduced into poultry houses, as abnormal bird mortality started near air inlets of the infected houses. This study modeled air movement trajectories and virus concentrations that were used to assess the probability or risk of airborne transmission for the 77 HPAI cases in Iowa. The results show that majority of the positive cases in Iowa might have received airborne virus, carried by fine particulate matter, from infected farms within the state (i.e., intrastate) and infected farms from the neighboring states (i.e., interstate). The modeled airborne virus concentrations at the Iowa recipient sites never exceeded the minimal infective doses for poultry; however, the continuous exposure might have increased airborne infection risks. In the worst-case scenario (i.e., maximum virus shedding rate, highest emission rate, and longest half-life), 33 Iowa cases had > 10% (three cases > 50%) infection probability, indicating a medium to high risk of airborne transmission for these cases. Probability of airborne HPAI infection could be affected by farm type, flock size, and distance to previously infected farms; and more importantly, it can be markedly reduced by swift depopulation and inlet air filtration. The research results provide insights into the risk of airborne transmission of HPAI virus via fine dust particles and the importance of preventative and containment strategies such as air filtration and quick depopulation of infected flocks. For fulltext: https://rdcu.be/bOEQ0
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The impact of long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on cause-specific mortality is poorly understood. To assess mortality risks associated with long-term NO2 exposure and evaluate confounding of this association. We examined the association between 12-month moving average NO2 exposure and cause-specific mortality in 14.1 million US Medicare beneficiaries between 2000 and 2008. Associations were examined using age, gender, and race-stratified and state-adjusted Poisson regression models. We assessed the potential for confounding by PM2.5 and behavioral covariates and unmeasured confounding by decomposing NO2 into its spatial and spatio-temporal components. We found significant associations between 12-month NO2 exposure and increased mortality from all-causes [risk ratio (RR): 1.052; 95% CI: 1.051, 1.054; per 10 ppb], cardiovascular (CVD) (1.133; 95% CI: 1.130, 1.137) and respiratory disease (1.050; 95% CI: 1.044, 1.056), all cancers (1.021; 95% CI: 1.017, 1.025), ischemic heart disease (IHD) (1.221; 95% CI: 1.217, 1.226), cerebrovascular (CBV) disease (1.092; 95% CI: 1.085, 1.100), and for the first time pneumonia (1.275; 95% CI: 1.263, 1.287). Associations generally remained positive and statistically significant after adjustment for PM2.5 and behavioral factors. Our findings provide additional evidence of the increased risk posed by long-term NO2 exposures on increased mortality from all-causes, CVD, respiratory disease, IHD, CBV, and cancer and provide new evidence of their impact on mortality from pneumonia. Unmeasured confounding of these associations was present, however, demonstrating the need to understand sources of this confounding.
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Inhalation exposure to indoor air pollutants and cigarette smoke increase the risk of tuberculosis (TB) development. Whether exposure to ambient air pollution particulate matter (PM) alters protective human host immune responses against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) has been studied poorly. Here we examined the effect of PM from Iztapalapa, a municipality of Mexico City, with aerodynamic diameters below 2.5μm (PM2.5) and 10μm (PM10) on innate antimycobacterial immune responses in human alveolar type II epithelial cells A549. Exposure to PM2.5 or PM10 deregulated the ability of the A549 cells to express the antimicrobial peptides human β-defensin 2 and 3 (HBD-2 and HBD-3) upon infection with M.tb and increased intracellular M.tb growth (colony-forming units). The observed modulation of antibacterial responsiveness by PM exposure was associated with induction of senescence in PM-exposed A549 cells and unrelated to PM-mediated loss of cell viability. Thus, induction of senescence and downregulation of HBD-2 and HBD-3 expression in respiratory PM-exposed epithelial cells leading to the enhanced M.tb growth represent mechanisms by which exposure to air pollution PM may increase the risk of M.tb infection and TB development. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
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Current day concentrations of ambient air pollution have been associated with a range of adverse health effects, particularly mortality and morbidity due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. In this review, we summarize the evidence from epidemiological studies on long-term exposure to fine and coarse particles, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and elemental carbon on mortality from all-causes, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease. We also summarize the findings on potentially susceptible subgroups across studies. We identified studies through a search in the databases Medline and Scopus and previous reviews until January 2013 and performed a meta-analysis if more than five studies were available for the same exposure metric.
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Changes in immune status have been suggested as a possible biologic mechanism by which particulate matter (PM) air pollution could lead to adverse health effects. The authors studied associations between ambient PM₂.₅ and immune status among 115 postmenopausal, overweight women in the greater Seattle, Washington, area. The authors evaluated 3-day, 30-day, and 60-day average PM₂.₅ values in relation to inflammation markers (C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A, interleukin-6) and functional assays of cellular immunity (natural killer cell cytotoxicity, T-lymphocyte proliferation) at 3 time points for each woman during 1 year. Three-day averaged PM₂.₅ was inversely associated with anti-CD3-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation. There were no notable associations between the inflammation markers and PM₂.₅. If additional studies confirm our findings, then future health effect assessments for PM₂.₅ should consider changes in cellular immunity as an endpoint that may lead to overt clinical disease.