Professor Hansell, Chair of the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, has over twenty years research experience in environmental epidemiology with a long-standing interest in environmental impacts on human health, focussing on long-term and lifetime effects of air pollution from pregnancy to old age on respiratory disease.
Professor Anna Hansell is investigating the links between air pollution and COVID-19 mortality rates.
Air pollution levels for some pollutants have fallen during COVID-19 lockdown periods, with variations between countries. These falls would be expected to have beneficial impacts on health, but this needs careful evaluation. Areas of the world with high air pollution levels have had worse mortality rates than areas with lower air pollution. Professor Hansell is investigating whether this is because air pollution increases the risk of diseases that make people more susceptible to COVID-19 or whether air pollution has an additional impact on coronavirus infection.