Choosing to cycle and use public transport has a significant impact on the environment.
British MEPs have drawn up a report highlighting the relationship between exposure to air pollution and the increase in coronavirus infections and deaths. In addition to presenting new evidence of this link, MEPs also made suggestions for reducing air pollution.
CONTAINMENT MEASURES HAVE REDUCED AIR POLLUTION
According to The Guardian, containment has lowered air pollution levels in many places. Nevertheless, MEPs say in their report that measures are needed to keep air pollution levels low.
In their report, the British MEPs thus propose to continue working from home and to increase cycle lanes and public transport services to avoid traffic congestion. The report, based on statements by scientists, businesses and local authorities, also proposes phasing out the burning of wood and coal in homes, deploying clean air zones and setting up a scrappage scheme for polluting vehicles.
IT IS VITAL TO AVOID ANOTHER SPIKE IN INFECTIONS
MP Geraint Davies stated that it was necessary to maintain clean air quality outside the containment and not to cause “a second sharp spike in Covid-19 because people are getting into their cars instead of using public transit or working from home”.
He also said the measures put forward in the report are similar to those adopted to respect social distancing and limit the risk of infection. These include traveling less and limiting contact between people.
AIR POLLUTION INCREASES THE RISK OF RESPIRATORY CONTAMINATION.
Professor Jonathan Grigg of Queen Mary University in London added: “ Some proposals can be put forward immediately and will help to ensure that a second peak does not overwhelm the NHS. All will help to provide clean air in the coming years to ensure the better public health and greater resilience to future pandemics. ”
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The professor revealed that his laboratory research has shown that even short-term exposure of our airway cells to traffic pollution particles increases the number of ACE2 receptors. It is through these receptors that the coronavirus enters the body. Harvard Professor Rachel Nethery argues that “air pollution and Covid-19 are even more dangerous together. This information can help us prepare by encouraging people in areas with high air pollution to take extra precautions and allocate additional resources. »
Source : The Guardian