Research acitivity about COVID-19 spread and environmental pollution

The extraordinariness of COVID-19 occurred in a world that was completely unprepared to face it. To justify this, sometimes literature proposes positive associations between concentrations of some air pollutants and SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. However, several of these studies are affected by incomplete data analysis and/or incorrect accounts of spread dynamics that can be attributed to respiratory viruses. Several study based on international communication trade data shows that this parameter seems to be a good indicator of virus spread, being proposed as a surrogate of human-to-human interactions. Based on the activity about correlation of COVID-19 spread and environmental pollution

She is currently one of the TOP WORLD RESEARCHER (sixth position of reported 500 researchers by SciVal) for the research topic about COVID-19, environmental pollution, and medical waste, for the 2016-2021 period (see the image reported on the right).

For more information, see the following papers:

Bontempi, E.

A global assessment of COVID-19 diffusion based on a single indicator: Some considerations about air pollution and COVID-19 spread

(2022) Environmental Research, 204, art. no. 112098, .

https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85115947654&doi=10.1016%2fj.envres.2021.112098&partnerID=40&md5=1f37573b504f07b2e6b9da1b66d9315b

ABSTRACT: The extraordinariness of COVID-19 occurred in a world that was completely unprepared to face it. To justify this, sometimes literature proposes positive associations between concentrations of some air pollutants and SARS-CoV-2 mortality and infectivity. However, several of these studies are affected by incomplete data analysis and/or incorrect accounts of spread dynamics that can be attributed to respiratory viruses. Based on separate analyses involving all the USA states and globally all the world countries suffering from the pandemic, this communication shows that commercial trade seems to be a good indicator of virus spread, being proposed as a surrogate of human-to-human interactions. The results of this study strongly support the conclusion that this new indicator could result fundamental to model (and avoid) possible future pandemics, strongly suggesting dedicated studies devoted to better investigate its significance. © 2021 Elsevier Inc.

AUTHOR KEYWORDS: Air pollution; Commercial trade; COVID-19 spread; PM2.5; SARS-CoV-2

INDEX KEYWORDS: atmospheric pollution; concentration (composition); COVID-19; disease spread; infectivity; mortality, air pollutant; air pollution; Article; coronavirus disease 2019; diffusion; geographic distribution; human; nonhuman; pandemic; particulate matter 2.5; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; social interaction; United States; virus infectivity; virus transmission, United States, Indicator indicator; SARS coronavirus

DOCUMENT TYPE: Article

OPEN ACCESS: All Open Access, Green

SOURCE: Scopus


Anand, U., Li, X., Sunita, K., Lokhandwala, S., Gautam, P., Suresh, S., Sarma, H., Vellingiri, B., Dey, A., Bontempi, E., Jiang, G.

SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens in municipal wastewater, landfill leachate, and solid waste: A review about virus surveillance, infectivity, and inactivation

(2022) Environmental Research, 203, art. no. 111839, .

https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85112344302&doi=10.1016%2fj.envres.2021.111839&partnerID=40&md5=a8d26f158fd0052fb3cc77af775aeb48

ABSTRACT: This review discusses the techniques available for detecting and inactivating of pathogens in municipal wastewater, landfill leachate, and solid waste. In view of the current COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 is being given special attention, with a thorough examination of all possible transmission pathways linked to the selected waste matrices. Despite the lack of works focused on landfill leachate, a systematic review method, based on cluster analysis, allows to analyze the available papers devoted to sewage sludge and wastewater, allowing to focalize the work on technologies able to detect and treat pathogens. In this work, great attention is also devoted to infectivity and transmission mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, the literature analysis shows that sewage sludge and landfill leachate seem to have a remote chance to act as a virus transmission route (pollution-to-human transmission) due to improper collection and treatment of municipal wastewater and solid waste. However due to the incertitude about virus infectivity, these possibilities cannot be excluded and need further investigation. As a conclusion, this paper shows that additional research is required not only on the coronavirus-specific disinfection, but also the regular surveillance or monitoring of viral loads in sewage sludge, wastewater, and landfill leachate. The disinfection strategies need to be optimized in terms of dosage and potential adverse impacts like antimicrobial resistance, among many other factors. Finally, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogenic microorganisms in sewage sludge, wastewater, and landfill leachate can hamper the possibility to ensure safe water and public health in economically marginalized countries and hinder the realization of the United Nations' sustainable development goals (SDGs). © 2021 Elsevier Inc.

AUTHOR KEYWORDS: Biohazards; COVID-19; Landfill leachate; Pathogenic microorganisms; Pollution-to-human transmission mechanism; SARS-CoV-2; Sewage sludge; Sustainable development goals; Waste; Wastewater

INDEX KEYWORDS: COVID-19; infectivity; landfill; leachate; municipal solid waste; pathogen; severe acute respiratory syndrome; virus; wastewater, Coronavirus; SARS coronavirus

DOCUMENT TYPE: Article

OPEN ACCESS: All Open Access, Green

SOURCE: Scopus


Zanoletti, A., Cornelio, A., Bontempi, E.

A post-pandemic sustainable scenario: What actions can be pursued to increase the raw materials availability?

(2021) Environmental Research, 202, art. no. 111681, .

https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85111156290&doi=10.1016%2fj.envres.2021.111681&partnerID=40&md5=452ff00accccca846c263fe0bf34d775

ABSTRACT: On January 30, 2020, COVID-19 outbreak, detected for the first time in Wuhan (China), was declared by WHO a Public Health Emergency. In a strongly connected world, the consequent slowdown of the Chinese economy contributed to disrupt the global supply chains of several products. In a post-pandemic scenario, the expected rapid increase in demand of critical raw materials (associated with the transition to more green energy sources), coupled with the problems that some mining activities are relegated only in certain countries and regions, must be considered in a sustainable perspective. This work analyses the literature about (critical) raw materials and COVID-19, not only to present the impact of the pandemic on their supply, but also to propose some actions that should be pursued in a post-pandemic renaissance scenario, to increase raw materials availability, with great attention to most critical ones, in the frame of circular economy principles. The post-pandemic possibilities are evaluated and suitable actions are suggested to secure the raw materials availability for the foreseen increase of investments in crucial and strategic sectors, in accord with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The proposed actions can be summarized as policy, strategy, economy, and technology activities. © 2021 Elsevier Inc.

AUTHOR KEYWORDS: Circular economy; COVID-19; Critical raw materials (CRMs); SARS-CoV-2; SDGs; Sustainability

INDEX KEYWORDS: COVID-19; investment; population outbreak; scenario analysis; sustainability; sustainable development; Sustainable Development Goal; United Nations; World Health Organization, Article; coronavirus disease 2019; economic aspect; environmental monitoring; investment; literature; mining; natural resource; nonhuman; pandemic; policy; sustainable development; technology, China; Hubei; Wuhan, SARS coronavirus

DOCUMENT TYPE: Article

SOURCE: Scopus


Núñez-Delgado, A., Bontempi, E., Coccia, M., Kumar, M., Farkas, K., Domingo, J.L.

SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogenic microorganisms in the environment

(2021) Environmental Research, 201, art. no. 111606, .

https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85111346747&doi=10.1016%2fj.envres.2021.111606&partnerID=40&md5=a3ee52a104549a614bb756e7213b95a0

ABSTRACT: The title of the Virtual Special Issue (VSI) “SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogenic microorganisms in the environment”, clearly indicates a main focus not only on the virus causing the current pandemic, but also on other pathogenic microorganisms and their spatial and temporal dynamics in environmental compartments. Overall, the VSI has received more than 100 submissions relating to most of the possible fields connected to the pandemic, many of them of high scientific value. A rigorous peer-reviewing process has been carried out, with a panel of experts making a great work to evaluate that important number of submissions. As a result, those manuscripts reaching the highest scientific standards were selected for publication. We think that the papers included constitute a set of high-quality contributions, which should help to improve the overall scientific perspective regarding this crucial issue. In this piece, the Editors comment some issues on the papers accepted for publication, and include additional reflections. © 2021 Elsevier Inc.

AUTHOR KEYWORDS: COVID-19; Environmental issues; Epidemics; Infectious diseases microorganisms; Pandemics; SARS-CoV-2; Virus

INDEX KEYWORDS: fresh water; ground water; plastic; selenium; water, aerosol transmission; air pollution; airflow; airway; biological activity; biological monitoring; comparative study; coronavirus disease 2019; COVID-19 testing; diet; disease transmission; economic aspect; Editorial; enteric virus; environment; environmental exposure; environmental impact; environmental indicator; food; health care cost; heat; hospital; human; infection control; infectious agent; instrument sterilization; lung; marine environment; microorganism; mortality rate; nonhuman; pandemic; particulate matter 2.5; pathogenicity; population; protection; respiratory virus; response surface method; seasonal variation; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; social aspect; soil; solid waste; ultraviolet irradiation; virus; virus survival; virus transmission; wastewater; wastewater-based epidemiology, SARS coronavirus, COVID-19; Humans; Pandemics; SARS-CoV-2

DOCUMENT TYPE: Editorial

OPEN ACCESS: All Open Access, Bronze, Green

SOURCE: Scopus


Bontempi, E., Coccia, M.

International trade as critical parameter of COVID-19 spread that outclasses demographic, economic, environmental, and pollution factors

(2021) Environmental Research, 201, art. no. 111514, .

https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85108360272&doi=10.1016%2fj.envres.2021.111514&partnerID=40&md5=0bc08505698208be0a5d95c26410269d

ABSTRACT: The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that caused the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), generating high numbers of COVID-19 related infected individuals and deaths, is still circulating in 2021 with new variants of the coronavirus, such that the state of emergency remains in manifold countries. Currently, there is still a lack of a full understanding of the factors determining the COVID-19 diffusion that clarify the causes of the variability of infections across different provinces and regions within countries. The main goal of this study is to explain new and main determinants underlying the diffusion of COVID-19 in society. This study focuses on international trade because this factor, in a globalized world, can synthetize different drivers of virus spread, such as mobility patterns, economic potentialities, and social interactions of an investigated areas. A case study research is performed on 107 provinces of Italy, one of the first countries to experience a rapid increase in confirmed cases and deaths. Statistical analyses from March 2020 to February 2021 suggest that total import and export of provinces has a high association with confirmed cases over time (average r > 0.78, p-value <.001). Overall, then, this study suggests total import and export as complex indicator of COVID-19 transmission dynamics that outclasses other common parameters used to justify the COVID-19 spread, given by economic, demographic, environmental, and climate factors. In addition, this study proposes, for the first time, a time-dependent correlation analysis between trade data and COVID-19 infection cases to explain the relation between confirmed cases and social interactions that are a main source of the diffusion of SARS-CoV-2 and subsequent negative impact in society. These novel findings have main theoretical and practical implications directed to include a new parameter in modelling of the diffusion of COVID-19 pandemic to support effective policy responses of crisis management directed to constrain the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and similar infectious diseases in society. © 2021 Elsevier Inc.

AUTHOR KEYWORDS: Commercial trade; Coronavirus; COVID-19; Density of population; GDP per Capita; Import and export; Public health; Public policy; SARS-CoV-2

INDEX KEYWORDS: rain, COVID-19; crisis management; demography; disease spread; environmental economics; environmental factor; environmental fate; international trade; parameter estimation; respiratory disease, air pollution; Article; commercial phenomena; coronavirus disease 2019; disease association; environmental temperature; gross national product; human; international trade; Italy; particulate matter 10; particulate matter 2.5; population density; social interaction; virus transmission; wind speed; commercial phenomena; demography; international cooperation; pandemic, Italy, Coronavirus; Indicator indicator; SARS coronavirus, Commerce; COVID-19; Demography; Humans; Internationality; Pandemics; SARS-CoV-2

DOCUMENT TYPE: Article

OPEN ACCESS: All Open Access, Bronze, Green

SOURCE: Scopus


Bontempi, E., Coccia, M., Vergalli, S., Zanoletti, A.

Can commercial trade represent the main indicator of the COVID-19 diffusion due to human-to-human interactions? A comparative analysis between Italy, France, and Spain

(2021) Environmental Research, 201, art. no. 111529, .

https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85108305364&doi=10.1016%2fj.envres.2021.111529&partnerID=40&md5=a301b937223da5055cd9809c67719a46

ABSTRACT: The main goal of this study is to analyze the relation between commercial trade and pandemic severity in society, in order to support new hypotheses which can explain transmission dynamics of COVID-19, as well as promote policy responses to cope with future epidemics similar to COVID-19. This study considers the role of trade in the dynamics of pandemic diffusion, within and between countries, which has not been investigated yet in this emerging field of research. We focus on three large countries in Europe: Italy, France, and Spain. The analysis is performed at regional level (involving in total 52 European regions). Results suggest that the association between trade and pandemic severity seems to be supported by empirical evidence, making it possible to introduce new hypotheses for explaining transmission dynamics of COVID-19 within and between countries. In particular, international trade data is supposed to be used as a comprehensive indicator accounting for population density, economic dynamism, and human mobility. The statistical analyses, also in a multivariate context, strongly support this hypothesis and suggest that crisis management has to focus in the very first place on infections occurring outside the national boundaries, in order to cope with pandemic threat of new waves of COVID-19 and future similar epidemics/pandemics. © 2021

AUTHOR KEYWORDS: Coronavirus; COVID-19; Fatality rate; Gross domestic product (GDP); Import-export; Pandemic crisis; Population density; Public health; SARS-CoV-2 spread

INDEX KEYWORDS: comparative study; COVID-19; crisis management; diffusion; epidemic; hypothesis testing; international trade; policy making; population density, accounting; Article; commercial phenomena; comparative study; controlled study; coronavirus disease 2019; correlation coefficient; data analysis; diffusion; disease severity; economic aspect; France; gross national product; horizontal disease transmission; hospital patient; hospitalization; human; intensive care unit; Italy; morbidity; mortality rate; pandemic; population density; social interaction; society; Spain; statistical analysis; statistics; study design; trade union; epidemiology; France; international cooperation; Italy; Spain, France; Italy; Spain, Coronavirus; Indicator indicator; SARS coronavirus, Commerce; COVID-19; France; Humans; Internationality; Italy; SARS-CoV-2; Spain

DOCUMENT TYPE: Article

OPEN ACCESS: All Open Access, Bronze, Green

SOURCE: Scopus


Anand, U., Cabreros, C., Mal, J., Ballesteros, F., Jr., Sillanpää, M., Tripathi, V., Bontempi, E.

Novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: From transmission to control with an interdisciplinary vision

(2021) Environmental Research, 197, art. no. 111126, .

https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85104103682&doi=10.1016%2fj.envres.2021.111126&partnerID=40&md5=1ecf770c6eea2103444d96429db121ff

ABSTRACT: There a lot of review papers addressing specific COVID-19 research sectors, then devoted to specialists. This review provides an in-depth summary of the available information about SARS-CoV-2 and the corresponding disease (also known as COVID-19), with a multi-disciplinary approach. After the paper introduction, the first section treats the virological characteristics of SARS-CoV-2, the medical implications of the infection, and the human susceptivity. Great attention is devoted to the factor affecting the infection routes, distinguishing among the possible human-to-human, environmental-to-human, and pollution-to-human transmission mechanisms. The second section is devoted to reporting the impact of SARS-CoV-2 not only on the healthcare systems but also on the economy and society. The third section is devoted to non-pharmaceutical behaviours against COVID-19. In this context, this review section presents an analysis of the European second wave allowing not only to focalize the importance of some restrictions, but also the relevance of social acceptance of some measures. The data reassumed in this work are very useful for interdisciplinary researchers that work in a team to find the basic available information about all the aspects connected with this pandemic (from virus diffusion mechanism to health information, from economic and social impacts to measures to reduce the pandemic spread), with great attention to social acceptance of restriction measures and of vaccines (that currently results to be insufficient to achieve community immunity). Then, this review paper highlights the fundamental role of the trans-multi-disciplinary research that is devoted not only to understand the basics of the pandemic to propose solutions but has also the commitment to find strategies to increase population resilience. For this aim, the authors strongly suggest the establishment of an international health-care trans-multi-disciplinary workforce devoted to investigate, mitigate, and control also future viral events. © 2021 Elsevier Inc.

AUTHOR KEYWORDS: Air particulate matter; COVID-19; Europe second wave; Infection mechanisms; Pollution-to-human transmission; SARS-CoV-2

INDEX KEYWORDS: COVID-19; disease control; disease transmission; immunity; vaccination; vaccine; virus, adult; Article; child; community; coronavirus disease 2019; disease predisposition; ethnicity; futurology; genetic variation; government; health care system; horizontal disease transmission; human; infection control; infection prevention; infection rate; interdisciplinary research; pandemic; priority journal; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; sex difference; social acceptance; society; study design; survival; symptom; virus transmission; pandemic, Coronavirus; SARS coronavirus, COVID-19; Humans; Pandemics; SARS-CoV-2

DOCUMENT TYPE: Article

OPEN ACCESS: All Open Access, Green

SOURCE: Scopus


Ducoli, S., Zacco, A., Bontempi, E.

Incineration of sewage sludge and recovery of residue ash as building material: A valuable option as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic

(2021) Journal of Environmental Management, 282, art. no. 111966, .

https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85099403180&doi=10.1016%2fj.jenvman.2021.111966&partnerID=40&md5=98835ec9dc5f2d79626b0e062f2a7427

ABSTRACT: Circular economy principles were adopted by European Commission, to support a sustainable growth. They contain general rules that should be considered in all situations. At present, during pandemic, some waste disposal practices are under evaluation to guarantee safety conditions. For example, in view of the recent results reporting the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus in sewage sludge, the possibility that it diffuses in the environment is alarming. The situation may result critical in densely populated cities, which are the largest sources of sewage sludge. In this frame the diffused practice of reuse of this waste in agriculture is under revision. In this context, incineration may represent a valuable alternative strategy to manage sewage sludge during pandemic. Indeed, due to thermal treatment, the destruction of organic micropollutants and pathogens, eventually present in the waste, is guarantee. Moreover, it is fundamental to highlight that also if the management of sewage sludge changes, the ash resulting from its combustion may have suitable reuse opportunities, and their landfilling should be avoided. This work presents the available possibilities of sewage sludge ash recovery in building applications and shows the results obtained by the analysis of their sustainability. The approach is based on the use of embodied energy and carbon footprint values, to make a simple and fast new method able to be a suitable tool to support and promote sustainability also in critical situations (such as pandemic) and when all the information about a technology are not available, making not possible to perform a full-LCA approach. This work aims to be not only a reference paper for promotion of strategies able to increase waste management safety, but also an example showing that circular economy principles should be pursued also if boundary conditions can change. © 2021 Elsevier Ltd

AUTHOR KEYWORDS: Circular economy; COVID-19; ESCAPE approach; Raw materials; SARS-CoV-2; SDG 11; SDG 12; Sewage sludge ash; Sustainability

INDEX KEYWORDS: construction material; economic growth; European Commission; incineration; landfill; organic pollutant; severe acute respiratory syndrome; sludge; strategic approach; sustainability, Article; ash; carbon footprint; combustion; coronavirus disease 2019; incineration; landfill; pandemic; sewage; waste management; water supply; city; human; incineration, SARS coronavirus, Cities; COVID-19; Humans; Incineration; Pandemics; SARS-CoV-2; Sewage

DOCUMENT TYPE: Article

SOURCE: Scopus


Bontempi, E.

The europe second wave of COVID-19 infection and the Italy “strange” situation

(2021) Environmental Research, 193, art. no. 110476, .

https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85096836271&doi=10.1016%2fj.envres.2020.110476&partnerID=40&md5=f063f5bf6c610eee6799ca84d9a44e20

ABSTRACT: At the end of February 2020 COVID-19 infection appeared in Italy, with consequent diffusion, in few weeks, in almost all the Europe. Despite that human-to-human is the recognized main virus transmission way, several authors supposed pollution-to-human mechanisms to justify the appearance of contagious in Italy. However, these works often suffered of a lack of analysis of possible overlapping of different variables, other than only environmental ones. After a decreasing of detected cases in summer, Europe faced with the appearance of a COVID-19 second wave. In this context the Italy situation appeared to be “strange”. Indeed, compared with the other selected Countries (France, Germany, UK, and Spain), the Italian infection cases resulted to be lower, in the same analysed period. This work is devoted to find a possible justification of the unexpected situation found in Italy. A comparison of the imposed restrictions in the considered Countries allows to highlight that some policies result more effective to limit the virus spread. This clearly shows that the imposed constraints and the people capacities to receipt them are fundamental parameters that must be always accounted in the determination of the virus expansion. The lesson provided by Italy should be achieved by other member states where the COVID-19 sanitary crisis results to be worse. It is evident that the re-opening of ordinary activities involving people interactions, in Autumn, may contribute to promote a larger SARS-CoV-2 diffusion also in Italy. Author strongly highlights that pollution-to-human transmission mechanisms cannot be proposed whiteout considering the complexity of human-to-human interactions, that can be modified by imposed restrictions. It is fundamental to understand that a more precise acknowledge of the variables that should be considered in model predictions, instead of a need of more precise point prediction, will contribute to increase the reliability and the comprehension of the virus diffusion mechanisms, that is fundamental to face this pandemic period. © 2020 Elsevier Inc.

AUTHOR KEYWORDS: Air pollution; COVID-19; Facemask; Human-to-human interactions; Italy; Restriction measures; SARS-CoV-2; Second wave; Urban resilience

INDEX KEYWORDS: disease prevalence; disease transmission; infectivity; seasonality; viral disease; virus, autumn; comparative study; coronavirus disease 2019; diffusion; Europe; France; Germany; government; human; Italy; lockdown; mandatory program; pandemic; pollution; prediction; priority journal; public policy; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; Spain; summer; telecommuting; United Kingdom; virus transmission; communicable disease control; epidemiology; Europe; Italy; reproducibility, Europe; France; Germany; Italy; Spain, SARS coronavirus, Communicable Disease Control; COVID-19; Europe; France; Germany; Humans; Italy; Reproducibility of Results; SARS-CoV-2; Spain

DOCUMENT TYPE: Article

OPEN ACCESS: All Open Access, Bronze, Green

SOURCE: Scopus


Bontempi, E.

Commercial exchanges instead of air pollution as possible origin of COVID-19 initial diffusion phase in Italy: More efforts are necessary to address interdisciplinary research

(2020) Environmental Research, 188, art. no. 109775, .

https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85086787145&doi=10.1016%2fj.envres.2020.109775&partnerID=40&md5=cd3af7be77ebd032bd01e97f00a5f0d1

ABSTRACT: This communication aims to advocate a more coordinate activity mainly between medical and environmental scientists to clarify some confusing information related to airborne diffusion mechanisms of COVID-19. In this frame it is suggested that parameters other than environmental pollution (accounting for pollution-to-human transmission mechanisms), as for example parameters involving commercial exchanges (accounting for human-to-human transmission mechanisms), should be considered to better justify the difference in the initial diffusion of virus in Italy. © 2020 Elsevier Inc.

INDEX KEYWORDS: atmospheric pollution; disease transmission; environmental research; viral disease; virus, air pollution; airborne infection; Article; conceptual framework; coronavirus disease 2019; disease transmission; environmental factor; epidemic; human; infection control; interdisciplinary research; Italy; priority journal; scientist; Betacoronavirus; Coronavirus infection; diffusion; pandemic; virus pneumonia, Italy, Air Pollution; Betacoronavirus; Coronavirus Infections; Diffusion; Humans; Interdisciplinary Research; Italy; Pandemics; Pneumonia, Viral

DOCUMENT TYPE: Article

OPEN ACCESS: All Open Access, Bronze, Green

SOURCE: Scopus


Bontempi, E., Vergalli, S., Squazzoni, F.

Understanding COVID-19 diffusion requires an interdisciplinary, multi-dimensional approach

(2020) Environmental Research, 188, art. no. 109814, .

https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85086358767&doi=10.1016%2fj.envres.2020.109814&partnerID=40&md5=a2fb643f49ebe11e8014447bbd56284c

ABSTRACT: After COVID-19 initial diffusion in Europe in March 2020, research has suggested a direct correlation between environmental pollution and contagion dynamics (i.e., environment-to-human pollution), thereby indicating that mechanisms other than human-to-human transmission can explain COVID-19 diffusion. However, these studies did not consider that complex outcomes, such as a pandemic's diffusion patterns, are typically caused by a multiplicity of environmental, economic and social factors. While disciplinary specialties increase scholars' attitudes of concentrating on specific factors, neglecting this multiplicity during a pandemic crisis can lead to misleading conclusions. This communication aims to focus on certain limitations of current research about environmental-to-human COVID-19 transmission and shows the benefit of an interdisciplinary, multi-dimensional approach to understand the geographical diversity of contagion diffusion patterns. © 2020 Elsevier Inc.

AUTHOR KEYWORDS: COVID-19; Economy; Environment-to-human pollution; Interdisciplinarity

INDEX KEYWORDS: disease transmission; interdisciplinary approach; viral disease; virus, Article; coronavirus disease 2019; disease transmission; environment; geographic distribution; human; priority journal; Betacoronavirus; Coronavirus infection; Europe; pandemic; virus pneumonia, Europe, Betacoronavirus; Coronavirus Infections; Europe; Humans; Pandemics; Pneumonia, Viral

DOCUMENT TYPE: Article

OPEN ACCESS: All Open Access, Bronze, Green

SOURCE: Scopus


Bontempi, E.

First data analysis about possible COVID-19 virus airborne diffusion due to air particulate matter (PM): The case of Lombardy (Italy)

(2020) Environmental Research, 186, art. no. 109639, .

https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85084365745&doi=10.1016%2fj.envres.2020.109639&partnerID=40&md5=02bb7cc75aea65ec4398555251bb4bab

ABSTRACT: The severe cases of COVID-19 infections in Italy, and notably in Lombardy (mainly in Brescia and Bergamo areas), registered at the beginning of March 2020, occurred after a period of PM10 pollution, that exceeded the concentration of 50 μg/m3 (the attention limit) for several days. The two events were supposed to be correlated, also based on the limited information available about the new virus. Despite that clear indications about the role of particulate matter (PM) in the virus mechanism dispersion cannot be found in literature, some researchers supposed that PM can act as virus carrier, promoting its diffusion through the air. This paper, for the first time, analyses the PM10 situation in Lombardy (from 10th February to March 27, 2020), several days before the sanitary emergency explosion. The data of the detected infection cases are reported and discussed parallelly. As a comparison, the situation of Piedmont, located near to the Lombardy is also presented. Data are reported for Brescia, Bergamo, Cremona, Lodi, Milano, Monza-Brianza, Pavia (Lombardy), Alessandria, Vercelli, Novara, Biella, Asti, and Torino (Piedmont). The results show that it is not possible to conclude that COVID-19 diffusion mechanism also occurs through the air, by using PM10 as a carrier. In particular, it is shown that Piedmont cities, presenting lower detected infections cases in comparison to Brescia and Bergamo in the investigated period, had most sever PM10 pollution events in comparison to Lombardy cities. This first study may serve as a reference to better understand and predict the factors affecting the COVID-19 diffusion and transmission routes, focusing on the role of air particulate matter in the atmosphere. © 2020 Elsevier Inc.

AUTHOR KEYWORDS: Air pollution; COVID-19; Lombardy; PM10

INDEX KEYWORDS: atmospheric pollution; diffusion; disease transmission; infectious disease; infectivity; particulate matter; viral disease; virus, air pollution; airborne virus; Article; city; comparative study; coronavirus disease 2019; data analysis; diffusion; explosion; Italy; nonhuman; particle size; particulate matter; priority journal; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; viral contamination; virus detection; air pollutant; Betacoronavirus; Coronavirus infection; data analysis; human; Italy; microbiology; pandemic; virus pneumonia, Italy; Lombardy, Air Microbiology; Air Pollutants; Betacoronavirus; Cities; Coronavirus Infections; Data Analysis; Humans; Italy; Pandemics; Particulate Matter; Pneumonia, Viral

DOCUMENT TYPE: Article

OPEN ACCESS: All Open Access, Bronze, Green

SOURCE: Scopus