‘Accelerate research on air pollution and coronavirus’: Pascal Wielders

RIVM speeding up research on pollution and corona
Photo credit: Studio040

Several studies conducted so far show that more people die of the coronavirus in areas that have severe air pollution. This could also be the case in East Brabant. The Eindhoven lung specialist Pascal Wielders calls for more research.

A combination of intensive livestock farming, air traffic, road traffic and industry causes serious air pollution in East Brabant. A relatively large number of people died from the coronavirus, but the connection between these two factors is not yet certain.

Lung specialist Pascal Wielders at Catharina Hospital is worried. “We know that there are areas in North Brabant, where there is a higher concentration of particulate matter compared to the rest of the Netherlands,” says Wielders.

“Whether that’s the only explanation why more corona patients are here, we’re not sure yet. The studies do not prove that yet. But that needs to be investigated carefully. It seems so, but it has yet to be investigated causally,” says Wielders.

Call to RIVM
According to Wielders, more research needs to be done. “I think the RIVM needs to speed things up. We need to see the data from the studies that we have, so as to apply to the current situation,” says Wielders.

“There are data from the past on the link between particulate matter and respiratory tract infections. Let’s use it and see what data from abroad can teach us now. I think we need to hurry with this,” he emphasises.

Provincial funding
The province of Noord-Brabant is planning to set aside tons for extra measuring poles to better control air quality. It is not yet known how many extra piles will be erected and when.

Source: www.studio040.nl

Translation: Chaitali Sengupta, who gives ONLINE Inburgering classes.


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