Menu

In the News

Cracking the Potentially Deadly Connection Between Air Quality and Coronavirus

Statistics show that coronavirus disproportionately affects communities of color. Now, researchers with the Public Health Institute and UCSF are launching a joint study to examine the link between dirty air and this disparate health outcome at the neighborhood level.

  • KQED
smokestacks billowing smoke over a city

Since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, public health officials have suspected there is a direct link between dirty air and serious illness or even death from COVID-19. Air pollution damages the lungs and can cause inflammation and interfere with normal immune functions, two factors that could increase susceptibility to the virus.

Statistics show that coronavirus disproportionately affects communities of color. Now, researchers with the Public Health Institute and UCSF are launching a joint study funded by the California Air Resources Board to examine the link between dirty air and this disparate health outcome at the neighborhood level.

Gina Solomon, principal investigator at PHI and lead researcher of the study, says it’s important for researchers to examine the “differences in air quality and health vulnerabilities across the counties,” as well as to examine the impact of recent exposure to air pollution along with long-term exposure.

“It’s already evident that low-income communities of color in California are at disproportionate risk of getting COVID-19, and also at increased risk of hospitalization and death. That’s a stark and horrifying fact already from the data.”
– Gina Solomon, principal investigator at PHI and lead researcher of the study

Click below to read the full story.

Originally published by KQED


More Updates

Work With Us

You change the world. We do the rest. Explore fiscal sponsorship at PHI.

Bring Your Work to PHI

Support Us

Together, we can accelerate our response to public health’s most critical issues.

Donate

Find Employment

Begin your career at the Public Health Institute.

See Jobs

Family teaching a kid to bike

Close

Invest in the Future of Public Health

Now, more than ever, we need to invest in health—in the systems that keep us healthy, in the strategies that work, and in tomorrow's leaders. Donate to PHI and help us amplify community power and launch the next generation of public health leaders.

Donate today

Continue to PHI.org