How Air Pollution impacted the COVID-19 Deaths Worldwide?

According to a study published in the journal Cardiovascular Research on October 27, 2020 about 15 percent of deaths worldwide from COVID-19 are linked to long-term exposure to air pollution.


  • Researchers from Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Germany, have found that the proportion of COVID-19 deaths linked to air pollution was about 19 per cent in Europe.
  • The death toll was 17 per cent in North America and 27 per cent in East Asia.
  • The study is the first of its kind that has estimated the proportion of deaths from the coronavirus that could be attributed to the effects of air pollution across the world.

How these deaths could be avoided?

The team highlighted that these proportions of COVID-19 deaths could be avoided if the population are exposed to lower counterfactual air pollution levels. The pollution must not be fueled by fossil fuel and other anthropogenic caused by humans emissions.

How the study was conducted?

The researchers used the epidemiological data from US and Chinese studies of air pollution and COVID-19. They also included the data of the SARS outbreak in 2003. Italy also provided some additional data. These data were combined this with satellite data that showed the global exposure to polluting fine particles called the particulate matter (PM2.5) information on atmospheric conditions and ground-based pollution monitoring networks. Then the researchers created a model to calculate the fraction of coronavirus deaths.

Pollution-led Covid-19 death

  • 29 percent of pollution-led coronavirus deaths reported in the Czech Republic.
  • 27 percent in China,
  • 26 percent in Germany,
  • 22 percent in Switzerland and
  • 21 percent deaths in Belgium.
  • In  UK there are 44,000 coronavirus deaths and about 14 percent death was caused by pollution.
  • In US out of 220,000 COVID deaths, 18 percent deaths attributable to air pollution.
Current Affairs