About 15% of COVID-19-related deaths linked to long-term exposure to air pollution

This forum is to discuss general things concerning TSOI.
Posts: 2522
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:22 am

Re: About 15% of COVID-19-related deaths linked to long-term exposure to air pollution

Post by trader32176 »

New data reveals the effect of lockdowns on air pollution levels


https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210 ... evels.aspx

One consequence of the coronavirus pandemic has been global restrictions on mobility. This, in turn, has had an effect on pollution levels in the atmosphere.

Researchers from across the world are using this unique opportunity to take measurements, collect data, and publish studies. An international team led by Forschungszentrum Jülich's Institute of Climate and Energy Research - Troposphere has now published a comprehensive review providing an overview of results up to September 2020.

The study also has its own dedicated website, where additional measurement data can be added to supplement and refine existing research results. At the same time, this collection of data allows scientifically substantiated predictions to be made about the pollution levels of future mobility scenarios.

The meta-analysis was coordinated by Prof. Astrid Kiendler-Scharr, director at Jülich's Institute of Climate and Energy Research - Troposphere. The analysis covers the measurement data of around 200 studies from the first seven months following the onset of the pandemic.

It focuses on the following air pollutants: nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, ozone, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, black carbon, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and carbon monoxide. A third of the studies take into account the prevailing meteorological situation when calculating the influence of lockdowns on the air composition.

The Government Stringency Index (SI) - summarizing the severity of local shutdown measures in a number that can be compared at international level - acted as a reference value.

A key finding of the analysis is that lockdowns, which have the sole aim of slowing down the infection rate, are also reducing the global pollution of the atmosphere with nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter - the higher the SI, the greater this impact. However, this only applies to pollutants that primarily have an anthropogenic origin, i.e. are directly emitted by humans, especially in the field of mobility. In contrast, ozone levels increased. This increase was a result of atmospheric chemical processes caused by reduced nitrogen oxide levels in the air.

The study also highlights current gaps in the data collection and the need for further research. The authors are therefore of the opinion that the period of analysis should be extended to cover the entire year of 2020. The scientists place a particular emphasis on hydrocarbons, which have so far only been examined sporadically in studies, and on extended analyses looking at the impact of emission changes on the climate.

An important addition to the meta-analysis is a database that can be accessed via a website (COVID-19 Air Quality Data Collection). It contains all data from the study on pollution levels, including data on pollutions levels in individual countries. Researchers can also find a list of publications to date and thus obtain a quick overview of previous studies.

The website also invites scientists to present data from their new studies and to thus become part of the reference system. It therefore acts as a "living version", with the presentation of collected results being constantly refined. Similarly, there are plans to further develop the data collection to include measurement results and the analysis of other pollutants that are not part of the current canon, for example hydrocarbons.

The important data could also form the basis for better assessments of the impacts on atmospheric chemistry in future scenarios. This includes a considerable, long-term reduction in pollution levels for a comprehensive transition to electromobility.


Forschungszentrum Juelich

Journal reference:

Gkatzelis, G. I., et al. (2021) The global impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns on urban air pollution: A critical review and recommendations. Elementa: Sciences of the Anthropocene. doi.org/10.1525/elementa.2021.00176.
Posts: 2522
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:22 am

Re: About 15% of COVID-19-related deaths linked to long-term exposure to air pollution

Post by trader32176 »

Short-term exposure to air pollution may impede cognition; aspirin could help


https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05- ... mpede.html

Exposure to air pollution, even over the course of just a few weeks, can impede mental performance, according to a new study led by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. However, these adverse effects were lessened in people taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin. The study is among the first to explore short-term air pollution exposures and the use of NSAIDs to mitigate their effects. The results are published in the journal Nature Aging.

Examples of events that would increase someone's exposure to air pollution over the short term could include forest fires, smog, second-hand cigarette smoke, charcoal grills, and gridlock traffic.

The researchers examined the relationship between exposures to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon, a component of PM, and cognitive performance in 954 older white males from the Greater Boston Area enrolled in the Normative Aging Study. They also explored whether taking NSAIDs could modify their relationships. Cognitive performance was assessed using the Global Cognitive Function (GCF) and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scales. Air pollution levels were obtained from a site in Boston.

Elevated average PM2.5 exposure over 28 days was associated with declines in GCF and MMSE scores. Men who took NSAIDs experienced fewer adverse short-term impacts of air pollution exposures on cognitive health than non-users, though there were no direct associations between recent NSAID use and cognitive performance. The researchers postulate that NSAIDs, especially aspirin, may moderate neuroinflammation or changes in blood flow to the brain triggered by inhaling pollution.

"Despite regulations on emissions, short-term spikes in air pollution remain frequent and have the potential to impair health, including at levels below that usually considered hazardous," says senior author Andrea Baccarelli, MD, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. "Taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs appears to mitigate these effects, although policy changes to further restrict air pollution are still warranted."

The link between long-term PM exposure and impaired cognitive performance in the aging population is well-established. Reported effects include reduced brain volume, cognitive decrements, and dementia development. Air pollution has also been associated with poor cognition of children and adults. Until now, however, little was known about the effects of short-term exposure to air pollution.

The researchers say future studies should investigate the specific effects of chemical components of air pollution on cognitive performance, exposure sources in the environment, and whether cognitive impairments due to short-term air pollution exposures are transient or persistent. Randomized clinical trials of NSAID use are needed to validate their protective effects.

More informonati:
Gao, X., Coull, B., Lin, X. et al. Short-term air pollution, cognitive performance and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use in the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study. Nat Aging (2021). doi.org/10.1038/s43587-021-00060-4
Post Reply