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      Assessing nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) levels as a contributing factor to the coronavirus (COVID-19) fatality rate

      The Science of the Total Environment
      Elsevier B.V.
      COVID-19, Coronavirus, Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), Sentinel-5P

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          Nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) is an ambient trace-gas as a result of both natural and anthropogenic processes. Long-term exposure to NO 2 may cause a wide spectrum of severe health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, heart and cardiovascular diseases and even death. The objective of this study is to examine the relationship between long-term exposure to NO 2 and fatality caused by the coronavirus. The Sentinel-5P is used for mapping the tropospheric NO 2 distribution and the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis for evaluating the atmospheric capability to disperse the pollution. The spatial analysis has been conducted on a regional scale and combined with the number of death cases taken from 66 administrative regions in Italy, Spain, France and Germany. Results show that out of the 4443 fatality cases, 3487 (78%) were in five regions located in north Italy and central Spain. Additionally, the same five regions show the highest NO 2 concentrations combined with downwards airflow which prevent an efficient dispersion of air pollution. These results indicate that the long-term exposure to this pollutant may be one of the most important contributors to fatality caused by the COVID-19 in these regions and maybe across the whole world.

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          Author and article information

          Sci Total Environ
          Sci. Total Environ
          The Science of the Total Environment
          Elsevier B.V.
          11 April 2020
          11 April 2020
          : 138605
          The Department of Remote Sensing and Cartography, Institute of Geosciences and Geography, Von-Seckendorff-Platz 4, Room: H4 2.23, Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale) 06120, Germany
          S0048-9697(20)32121-5 138605
          © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

          Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

          : 7 April 2020
          : 8 April 2020

          General environmental science
          covid-19,coronavirus,nitrogen dioxide (no2),sentinel-5p
          General environmental science
          covid-19, coronavirus, nitrogen dioxide (no2), sentinel-5p


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