What is it about?

We study the relationship between long-term exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 deaths in Latin America. Our results show that an increase in long-term exposure to air pollution is associated with an increase in the COVID-19 mortality rate. By focusing the analysis on Latin America, we provide a first glimpse on the role of air pollution as a risk factor for COVID-19 mortality within a context characterised by weak environmental institutions, limited health care capacity and high levels of inequality.

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Why is it important?

The pandemic caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus has resulted in more than 4 million deaths worldwide. More than 30 percent of these fatalities have taken place in Latin America, one of the regions hardest hit by this pandemic. At the same time, air pollution is arguably the biggest environmental hazard in Latin America. Our findings support the need for strengthening environmental policies aimed at reducing ambient air pollution in Latin America, which could alleviate some of the devastating and unequal effects of the coronavirus pandemic and, arguably, other pandemics that might arise in the future.

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This page is a summary of: Association between long-term air pollution exposure and COVID-19 mortality in Latin America, PLoS ONE, January 2023, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0280355.
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