Dario Caro, Vlasios Oikonomou, Marco Ravina

The effects of the COVID19 epidemic are closely linked to environmental issues from many perspectives.
On the one hand some studies try to investigate a possible correlation between the concentration of pollutants, and in particular offine dust pollution, and the incidence of Coronavirus infections (Wu et al., 2020; Ogen, 2020). The hypothesis is that emissions and pollutants act as carriers of the virusand generate health problems which undermine individuals’ resistance to the virus and their survival probability.
On the other hand, we have been able to observe how the lockdown many countries have undergone has determined a strong alteration of the effects of pollutants and of their impact on the environment, sometimes producing temporary improvements in a series of parameters. The data collected in many contexts in fact demonstrate these trends, with significant effects in relation to air quality and water pollution.
These trends, which are still under observation, seem to confirm once again, and in an extremely clear way, the link between economy, health and the environment. 
Starting from the most recent evidence and data collected, the aim of the seminar is to discuss emerging trends and if it is possible to understand cause-effect links and relationships between the various anthropogenicactivities (mobility in particular) and pollution and, finally, to analyze which are the lessons and the hints for the design of environmental policies able to better respond both to emergency situations as the one we just experienced and to more structural challenges such as climate change and global warming.


Yaron Ogen 2020. Assessing nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels as a contributing factor to coronavirus fatality. Science of the total Environment
Wu, Nethery, Sabath, Braun, Dominici 2020. Exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 mortality in the United States: a nationwide cross-sectional study