Pollution Levels are Decreasing because of COVID-19 Quarantine

Pollution | Goldberg, Persky, and White P.C.

Pollution Levels are Decreasing because of COVID-19 Quarantine

Human activity has caused different areas around the world to experience large levels of pollution. Burning fuel to get from one place to another and to power different industries has contributed significantly to poor air quality. Now that most people are staying home to stop the spread of COVID-19, this is less of an issue, but pollution is still a problem around the world.

There are many problems with air pollution affecting people during the pandemic. One problem is the inhaled particulate matter can harm an individual’s health, creating a higher chance of death from contracting COVID-19. When certain areas had one microgram per cubic meter more particulate matter in the air, they had a 15 percent higher death rate from COVID-19. This is the result of the fine particles getting into the body and causing health issues like hypertension, heart disease, breathing trouble, and diabetes. These different ailments can cause patients to become more prone to getting severe symptoms and even death when getting COVID-19. The particulate can also weaken the immune system and cause inflammation in the lungs.

The world coming to a standstill, while hard on many people and the economy, has been great for lowering pollution levels and improving other people’s health. Overall wellbeing can also be improved because of lower pollution. People in highly polluted places like India are even having clear days for the first time. There is a large trade off for this reduction in pollution though with people becoming homeless and jobless because of the crisis.

The clean air shows that it is possible to bring pollution levels down, but the issue is that the world cannot come to a standstill for it to happen. We are also shown how deadly air pollution can be. Seven million people die every year because of air pollution. This large number needs to be significantly reduced.

Before any studies came out, scientists estimated that pollution was making COVID-19 symptoms worse. When SARS was studied in 2003, more polluted areas in China had higher death rates than the less polluted ones. It is also concerning that viruses can stick to particulate, making it easier for people to inhale them. Less pollution can actually reduce instances of heart attacks, strokes, and emergency room visits.

China has seen lives saved because of less pollution. Approximately 53,000 to 77,000 lives have been saved due to low pollution levels. Unfortunately, pollution levels are increasing as the world goes back to work. The more that people pollute the earth, the more likely people will die not only from COVID-19, but from pollution related illnesses.

Do you have cancer because of high pollution levels? You could be entitled to compensation. Call us at 412-471-3980 or fill out our contact form to have one of our attorneys review your case.

Beth Gardiner, “Pollution made COVID-19 worse. Now, lockdowns are clearing the air.” National Geographic (April 8, 2020). [Link]

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