Air pollution affects everyone, but not the same way. Dirty air has the potential to exacerbate existing health inequalities, especially for socially disadvantaged groups that are disproportionately exposed to air pollution.
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BBC Future explores the murky relationship between air pollution and coronavirus, which may mean that tackling air pollution will be a crucial part of easing lockdown. Researchers say findings are particularly important for poor minority communities, who tend to be more exposed to air pollution, contributing to a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from coronavirus.
The “pollution inequity” metric is generalisable to other pollution types and provides a simple and intuitive way of expressing a disparity between the pollution that people cause and the pollution to which they are exposed.
From discrimination to language, a variety of factors are affecting different groups’ vulnerability to coronavirus — with sometimes devastating results.