4 June 2020
You are more likely to die from COVID-19 when the air is polluted with particulate matter. American researchers at Harvard University drew this conclusion last April. The amount of nitrogen is most significant in urban areas. The researchers argue that COVID-19 have higher chances to be fatal in urban areas than in areas where the air is cleaner. The study was adjusted for other factors, such as age, smoking, or overweight.
In the Netherlands, there are strong suspicions of a
link between high concentrations of particulate matter and victims of COVID-19.
In areas with intensive livestock farming, ammonia is a significant cause of
the particulate matter. This affects health and makes people more susceptible
SURVIVES FOR A WHILE ON PLASTIC, ALSO IN THE AIR
Particulate matter in the air also consists of microfibers and plastic dust. Another American study indicated that the coronavirus could remain viable on plastic and metal for up to 72 hours. This means that people can become infected by touching a plastic or other materials. This study also analysed the stability of the virus in the air, where it can attach to aerosols (in liquid or solid form). The researchers could detect the virus in the air for three hours.
IN THE AIR
A study published last year reported that there were 20 times as many plastic microfibres (of the same size) in the air in London than in the air in a remote spot in the Pyrenees. These microfibres are released from, among others, synthetic clothing. Machine-washing and drying of synthetic clothing are major contributors to the plastic soup with millions of fibres per wash.
coronavirus can survive on plastic for two to three days, it is likely also to
be the case on synthetic microfibers or plastic dust in the air.
plastic does not decay naturally, the concentration of plastic in the
environment is increasing continuously. This is also the case for the
concentration of microplastics in the air. We breathe them in. The question of
whether the presence of microplastics in the air contributes to the likelihood
of being infected by COVID-19 has, as far as we know, not yet been
Plastic Soup Foundation hopes that targeted research into the relationship
between COVID-19 (and related viruses) and microplastics in the air will be
carried out very soon.