Air pollution increases risk of a fatal outcome from COVID

Press Release (April 8, 2020 – Salt Lake City, UT)

For years UPHE has cited extensive research showing that air pollution causes and aggravates virtually all the underlying diseases that are now known to make a person more vulnerable to a serious or fatal outcome from the coronavirus. It stands to reason then that air pollution would be an even greater danger to public health in the era of this deadly pandemic. Now we have proof that is indeed the case.

A brand new study from Harvard University directly confirms exactly what UPHE has been saying; air pollution significantly increases the risk of a fatal outcome from the coronavirus,” says Dr. Brian Moench. See the study here.

Specifically, living in a city with just 1 ug/m3 higher level of PM2.5 increases by 15%, a person’s risk of dying from a coronavirus infection. Given that the Wasatch Front averages about 8-9 ug/m3 PM2.5 (with winter inversion spikes up to 50-70), that means that Wasatch Front air pollution more than doubles the risk of death from the coronavirus. To put that in context, that is 15-20 times the normal mortality risk from air pollution itself.  Read full study here.

The pandemic makes it even more imperative that we reject any public policies that will make our air pollution worse. The polluting inland port must be stopped in its tracks, and the Trump Administration must stop all its disastrous roll backs of our environmental protections.

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