Evaluation of the potential relationship between Particulate Matter (PM) pollution and COVID-19 infection spread in Italy

Leonardo Setti, Fabrizio Passarini, Gianluigi de Gennaro, Alessia Di Gilio, Jolanda Palmisani, Paolo Buono, Gianna Fornari, Maria Grazia Perrone, Andrea Piazzalunga, Pierluigi Barbieri, Emanuele Rizzo, Alessandro Miani

Posted: March 3, 2020. Position paper
This article shows that there may be a very real link between the speed of transmission and lethality of COVID-19 and air pollution. The hypothesis that air pollution can act both as a vector of the infection and as a worsening factor of the health impact of the pandemic has also been raised in this article.


  • “…This evidence leads the authors to the hypothesis of a direct relationship between the number of persons infected by COVID-19 and the PM10 concentration levels in specific areas of Italian territory, confirming previous findings of recently published studies regarding environmental factors involved in viral infection spread. The hypothesis of a direct relationship between COVID-19 cases and PM10 levels is strengthened by the evidence that concentration of COVID19 outbreaks notified in Pianura Padana was higher than in other parts of Italy” (bold added)
  • “…In conclusion, the rapid COVID-19 infection spread observed in selected regions of Northern Italy is supposed be related to PM10 pollution due to airborne particles able to serve as carrier of pathogens…” (bold added)

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