Carleton University’s Paul Villeneuve and McGill University’s Mark Goldberg have published new research calling into question reported links between air pollution and mortality from COVID-19.
Carleton University’s Paul Villeneuve and McGill University’s Mark Goldberg have published new research calling into question reported links between air pollution and mortality from COVID-19. Their paper, Methodological considerations for epidemiological studies of air pollution and the SARS and COVID-19 coronavirus outbreaks, was published in Environmental Health Perspectives.
“We feel strongly that there is no public benefit to conducting these analyses in the midst of an active pandemic,” said Villeneuve, a professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics. “It is already well established that air pollution is a human health hazard, and we cannot envision any additional value that these studies provide. Many of these studies have not undergone the scrutiny of peer review and deflect from the increased rates of infection and health consequences due to problems of social and income disparities, overcrowding and other societal issues.”
This new research responds to a number of papers claiming to show that mortality rates from COVID-19 increase in areas with higher concentrations of various types of air pollution, mostly fine particulates. Most of these studies were posted on various web pages and have not been published in peer-reviewed journals. Despite this, mainstream media and American presidential candidates have commented on the research and tied it to their electoral platforms.
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