#COVID-19 Pandemic: A Wake-Up Call for Clean #Air

..Since its identification in Wuhan, China, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has infected more
than 104 million and killed over 2.2 million people worldwide (1). Recent studies of air pollution
and COVID-19 cases and mortality in diverse international settings add convincingly to a large
body of evidence showing that exposure to air pollution exacerbates viral respiratory infections
and consequently widens health disparities. Meanwhile, the global lockdown response through
a near global economic standstill resulted in a temporary improvement in short-term air
quality, likely reducing pollution-related, non-COVID-19 deaths. A large proportion of the global
population, including those in Europe and the United States, still live in areas where ambient air
pollution levels exceed World Health Organization guidelines, with racial minorities being
disproportionally affected. In this commentary, we review studies linking air pollution to worse
COVID-19 outcomes and discuss several ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the
urgent need to address the global problem of air pollution through sustainable local and
national policies to improve respiratory health and equity worldwide..

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