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“Common Pollutant Linked To 11% Higher Virus Death Rate”

“In fresh evidence of a link between air pollution and vulnerability to COVID-19, Emory University researchers have tied a modest increase in nitrogen dioxide exposure to a markedly higher death rate from the virus-borne illness.

The national study associated a 4.6-parts-per-billion rise in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations with an average 11% increase in the fatality rate for people with the respiratory disease, Donghai Liang, an assistant professor at the Atlanta school, told participants yesterday in a virtual conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology.

‘NO2 may be an important risk factor of COVID-19 death,' Liang said in a slide accompanying his presentation. ‘These findings might help identify susceptible and high-risk populations,' he added, such as those in parts of Arizona, California and the New York City metro area that have had ‘historically high NO2 pollution.'”

Sean Reilly reports for E&E News August 27, 2020.