COVID-19 lockdown reduced dangerous air pollutants in five Indian cities by up to 54 percent

16-Jul-2020 1:45 PM EDT, by University of Surrey

Newswise — A team of 10 interdisciplinary researchers from the University of Surrey's renowned Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE), including PhD students and post-doctoral researchers, have united to develop a rapid assessment of the impact COVID-19 has had on air quality.

Figures from the World Health Organisation show the ongoing pandemic has caused more than 477,000 deaths worldwide as of June 2020, 14,000 of which occurred in India. On 25 March 2020, a complete lockdown of internal and external boarders together with social isolation measures came into effect in India, affecting the lives and mobility of its 1.3 billion population.

In this recent study, published by Sustainable Cities and Society, researchers from Surrey's GCARE studied the levels of harmful fine particulate matter (PM2.5) originating from vehicles and other non-vehicular sources in five Indian cities - Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai - from the start of the lockdown period until 11 May 2020. The team analysed PM2.5 distribution and contextualised their findings against those from other cities from across the world. They also explored potential factors influencing differences between divergent concentration changes in different cities, as well as aerosol loadings at regional scale.

In their work, titled "Temporary reduction in fine particulate matter due to 'anthropogenic emissions switch-off' during COVID-19 lockdown in Indian cities", the GCARE team compared these lockdown air pollution figures with those from similar periods of the preceding five years.

The results showed that the lockdown reduced concentrations of harmful particles across all five cities, from a 10% reduction in Mumbai up to a 54% reduction in Delhi. These reductions in PM2.5 were found to be comparable to reductions in other cities across the world, such as in Vienna (60%) and Shanghai (42%).

The team from GCARE also investigated the monetary value of avoided premature mortality due to reduced PM2.5 concentrations, and calculated that the reduction may have saved 630 people from premature death and $690 million in health costs in India.

The team point out that the present lockdown situation offers observational opportunities regarding potential control systems and regulations for improved urban air quality. An integrated approach might help in understanding overall impacts of COVID-19 lockdown-style interventions and support the implementation of relevant policy frameworks.

Professor Prashant Kumar, Director of GCARE at the University of Surrey, said: "COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the lives and livelihoods of billions across the world. This tragic global event has allowed us to quantify the impact that human activity has had over our environment and, in particular, our air quality.

"While the reduction in PM2.5 pollution may not be surprising, the size of the reduction should make us all take notice of the impact we have been having on the planet. This is an opportunity for us all to discuss and debate what the 'new normal' should look like - particularly when it comes to the quality of the air we breathe."

This work is supported by the NERC-funded ASAP-Delhi project (NE/P016510/1) and the EPSRC-funded INHALE project (EP/T003189/1). It builds upon GCARE's previous work into the efficacy of odd-even trials in Delhi, key pollution challenges of land-locked Delhi and other Indian megacities and proposing mitigation strategies to tackle the issue, a spatial distribution mapping method of pollutants across Delhi, and on their most recent work on a long-term assessment of ambient particulate matter and trace gases in the Delhi-NCR region.

###

SEE ORIGINAL STUDY




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 3423
access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 30-Sep-2020 10:00 PM EDT Released to reporters: 28-Sep-2020 5:20 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 30-Sep-2020 10:00 PM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 28-Sep-2020 5:10 PM EDT
COVID-19 may deplete testosterone, helping to explain male patients' poorer prognosis
Taylor & Francis

For the first time, data from a study with patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 suggest that the disease might deteriorate men's testosterone levels.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 30-Sep-2020 11:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 28-Sep-2020 5:05 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 30-Sep-2020 11:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 28-Sep-2020 4:55 PM EDT
Covid-19: Social distancing is more effective than travel bans
University of Southern Denmark

Forecasting the spreading of a pandemic is paramount in helping governments to enforce a number of social and economic measures, apt at curbing the pandemic and dealing with its aftermath.

Released: 28-Sep-2020 1:55 PM EDT
mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines will NOT modify the human genome
Newswise

There is no evidence that mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines will use hydrogels. There is no evidence of a hydrogel chip that will connect you to the internet or alter your DNA.

Released: 28-Sep-2020 12:20 PM EDT
Missing Rehab Due to COVID-19 Increased Distress in Women with Breast Cancer
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott

Beyond the tragic surges in hospitalizations and deaths, the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted healthcare for people with a wide range of medical conditions – including cancer. For women recovering after breast cancer treatment, COVID-19-related interruptions in rehabilitation care led to emotional distress and other effects on health and well-being, reports a study in the October issue of Rehabilitation Oncology, official journal of the APTA Oncology, an Academy of the American Physical Therapy Association. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Newswise: Marriott Library digital exhibit finds echoes of today’s pandemic news in century-old headlines
Released: 28-Sep-2020 12:05 PM EDT
Marriott Library digital exhibit finds echoes of today’s pandemic news in century-old headlines
University of Utah

The J. Willard Marriott Library is launching a new digital exhibit to explore the 1918 flu pandemic in Utah through contemporary newspaper articles. The articles show how the issues and divisions that have appeared in the COVID-19 pandemic are, unfortunately, nothing new.

Newswise: Presidential Debates in a Highly Polarized America: UNLV Expert Available
Released: 28-Sep-2020 11:20 AM EDT
Presidential Debates in a Highly Polarized America: UNLV Expert Available
University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)

The COVID-19 pandemic. Race relations. The Supreme Court. The economy. When President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden meet for the first of three presidential debates on Tuesday night, millions of viewers are expected to tune in. But will America really be listening? Given the country’s all-time high partisanship and the extremely tiny pool of voters who have yet to make up their minds five weeks out from the 2020 general election, analysts are putting in their bets on the influence of televised debates and the chances of actually swaying voters.

Released: 28-Sep-2020 11:05 AM EDT
The Latest on the Moderna and Johnson Johnson COVID Vaccine Trials: Expert Panel on Oct 7th, 2pm EDT
Newswise

The Latest on the Moderna and Johnson Johnson COVID Vaccine Trials: Expert Panel on Oct 7th, 2pm EDT

Released: 28-Sep-2020 11:00 AM EDT
Researchers Identify “Druggable” Signaling Pathway that Stimulates Lung Tissue Repair
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a cellular pathway that can be targeted with a naturally occurring drug to stimulate lung tissue regeneration, which is necessary for recovery from multiple lung injuries. The findings, which were published today in Nature Cell Biology, could lead to better therapies for patients with lung disease, including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to COVID-19.


Showing results

110 of 3423

close
0.95442