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Air Pollution and COVID-19: The Role of Particulate Matter in the Spread and Increase of COVID-19’s Morbidity and Mortality

1
Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, 20126 Milan, Italy
2
Égalité org, 00152 Rome, Italy
3
School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca, 20900 Monza, Italy
4
NeuroMi, Milan Centre for Neuroscience, University of Milano-Bicocca, 20900 Monza, Italy
5
POLARIS Research Centre, University of Milano-Bicocca, 20900 Monza, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4487; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124487
Received: 27 April 2020 / Revised: 14 June 2020 / Accepted: 16 June 2020 / Published: 22 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Sars-Cov-2 virus (COVID-19) is a member of the coronavirus family and is responsible for the pandemic recently declared by the World Health Organization. A positive correlation has been observed between the spread of the virus and air pollution, one of the greatest challenges of our millennium. COVID-19 could have an air transmission and atmospheric particulate matter (PM) could create a suitable environment for transporting the virus at greater distances than those considered for close contact. Moreover, PM induces inflammation in lung cells and exposure to PM could increase the susceptibility and severity of the COVID-19 patient symptoms. The new coronavirus has been shown to trigger an inflammatory storm that would be sustained in the case of pre-exposure to polluting agents. In this review, we highlight the potential role of PM in the spread of COVID-19, focusing on Italian cities whose PM daily concentrations were found to be higher than the annual average allowed during the months preceding the epidemic. Furthermore, we analyze the positive correlation between the virus spread, PM, and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a receptor involved in the entry of the virus into pulmonary cells and inflammation. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; particulate matter; ACE2; inflammation; oxidative stress COVID-19; particulate matter; ACE2; inflammation; oxidative stress
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MDPI and ACS Style

Comunian, S.; Dongo, D.; Milani, C.; Palestini, P. Air Pollution and COVID-19: The Role of Particulate Matter in the Spread and Increase of COVID-19’s Morbidity and Mortality. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 4487.

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