Vehicle pollution appears to increase the risk of contracting Covid-19, London scientists have discovered.
Researchers took PM10 particulates captured in Marylebone Road and tested them on laboratory-grown human nose and throat cells.
They found that these airborne pollutants increased the body’s susceptibility to contracting the virus.
Professor Jonathan Grigg, lead researcher at Queen Mary University of London, said the early findings showed the importance of ongoing measures to clean up the capital’s air.
He said the nose was the “front door” through which the virus entered the body – and that pollutants could effectively widen the door by making the cells more of a target for covid.
This is because toxins increase the amount of an enzyme known as ACE2 on the surface of the cells in the nose and lower throat, making them more receptive to covid, probably for a “short-term period”.
Prof Grigg told the Standard: “Most people