On National Pollution Control Day, the emphasis is on preventing pollution and increasing public awareness of the ways in which we continue to abuse the environment. Every year on December 2, people commemorate those who lost their lives in the Bhopal Gas Tragedy of 1984 by observing this day. With air pollution increasing by the day, we would like to bring your attention to the impact it may have on people who have dealt with COVID symptoms. But first, let us understand the significance of this day.
Significance of National Pollution Control Day
The Bhopal Gas Tragedy occurred on December 2 and 3, 1984, in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. According to reports, this fatal chemical discharge was one of the biggest industrial disasters in history.
A unit of Union Carbide Corporation in India had about 45 tonnes of methyl isocyanate escape from a pesticide facility. Thousands of people were killed when this extremely toxic gas swept over the densely populated neighbourhood.
Thousands of people hurriedly left Bhopal due to the horror and fear of the event. A death toll of 15,000–20,000 people was estimated, with over 500,000 more suffering from injuries and different illnesses.
Methyl isocyanate exposure led to eye problems, blindness, and a number of respiratory issues. Sadly, the majority of affected families received only little compensation.
More than 400 tonnes of industrial garbage were still present on the site in 2021, much to the dismay of conservationists. Birth abnormalities going back generations have been attributed to the still degrading land and water quality.
The Bhopal Gas Tragedy caused atmospheric pollution and was remembered by increasing awareness on National Pollution Control Day.
COVID Symptoms and Impact of Air Pollution
The COVID-19 epidemic had sparked a global health emergency. A majority of nations in the world had faced COVID-19 symptoms. However, certain areas have been more severely impacted than others in terms of infection and death rates.
These striking variances have arisen important inquiries about the impact of air pollution
on the severity of COVID-19 infections and associated mortality rates globally. The precise causes of this are still unclear and certain important facets of the subject need more research.
Around the world, exposure to air pollution is thought to be the primary environmental factor in many diseases and early deaths. According to research, both short and long-term exposures to air pollutants are linked to a number of harmful health diseases, including an increase in hospital admissions, an increase in outpatient visits, and a rise in fatality rates. Some reports have even emphasised the connections between COVID-19 and air pollution.
Short-Term Exposure to Air Pollution and COVID-19
In a recent study, the geographic distribution of the COVID-19 infection was compared to a number of annual satellite and ground-level air quality indices in eight countries, including Italy, Spain, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Iran, and China.
Covid symptoms now have many types, including headache, runny nose, fever, diarrhoea, etc.
Covid symptoms in kids were also similar to adults at that time. It was discovered that more viral infections were found in the areas with higher levels of environmental pollutants like PM2.5 and NO2. Except for Spain and Germany, the study found a statistically significant association between air quality levels and COVID-19 dissemination and mortality in six nations. According to a study, there is a direct link between new COVID symptoms in China and air pollution indicators.
When AQI was raised by 10 units, the SARS-CoV-2 spreading was between 5 and 7%. A significant positive correlation between newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and PM2.5, PM10, NO2, and O3 was discovered in 120 Chinese cities. Another study found a strong connection between the COVID-19 epidemic and air pollutants like PM10, PM2.5, SO2, NO2, and CO. It is one of the effects of air pollution.
Long-Term Exposure to Air Pollution & COVID-19
A recent study examined COVID-19 and the effect of air pollution on human health in Spain, Italy, France, and Germany.
The four European nations were most severely affected by the COVID virus. It was discovered that 78% of deaths took place in just five areas of northern Italy and central Spain. It is one of the health effects of air pollution.
NO2 concentrations were highest and downward air pressure prevented the dispersion of air pollutants. According to the research, the COVID-19 infection in these areas may be a factor in the mortality that results from prolonged NO2 exposure. The concentration of PM2.5 and COVID-19 mortality were found to be directly correlated in a study. This information was gathered from 25 Indian cities.
A majority of the data shows that COVID-19 omicron variant symptoms and fatality rates are higher in extremely polluted areas than elsewhere.
Also, Covid second wave symptoms were seen to have decreased in some areas of China and India as a result of the lockdown. In order to stop the spread of COVID symptoms, maintaining air quality may be a crucial and successful strategy.
Exposure to air pollution, particularly NO2 and PM2.5, may increase one’s risk of contracting COVID-19 and increasing the mortality rate. Additionally, SARS-CoV-2 patients’ prognosis can be negatively impacted by air pollution.
In other words, pollution affects people who have suffered COVID. It is an impact of air pollution. Poor communities should receive special attention since they are more likely to experience indoor air pollution, which increases their chance of developing serious COVID-19 symptoms. An integrated strategy for protecting the public’s health and preventing the spread of epidemics should consider air quality as an important factor.