Air pollution and COVID-19

COVID-19 has impacted all of our lives, and there are signs that air pollution and coronavirus could be linked.

How are they linked?

There are some early studies showing that breathing in air pollution may increase the likelihood of severe impacts from COVID-19, including hospitalisation and death. We need more research to really understand this link but we do know that air pollution causes and worsens lung conditions, which increase people’s risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19.

People with long COVID could be more susceptible to toxic air

It is likely people living with long-term breathing challenge from COVID-19 may also be more affected by breathing in air pollution, due to their weakened lung health. More research is needed, but we know enough to make sure that recovery from the pandemic includes urgent action to reduce toxic air.

Sarah Woolnough
CEO, Asthma + Lung UK

Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed lung health to the front of all our minds. It has turned the world upside down and shone a spotlight on the devastating impact that respiratory conditions can have on people’s lives. It has shown us the importance of building resilient and healthy societies that can better withstand shocks, both now and in the future.