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Fluctuations in environmental pollutants and air quality during the lockdown in the USA and China: two sides of COVID-19 pandemic

Fluctuations in environmental pollutants and air quality during the lockdown in the USA and China: two sides of COVID-19 pandemic
Fluctuations in environmental pollutants and air quality during the lockdown in the USA and China: two sides of COVID-19 pandemic
The World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Due to the global threat, many countries impose immediate lockdown. The impact of lockdown on the environmental pollutants and climate indicators gained considerable attention in the literature. This study aims to describe the variations in the environmental pollutants (CO, NO2, SO2, PM2.5 and PM10) with and without the lockdown period in the majorly hit states and provinces of the USA and China, respectively. Data during the first quarter year of 2019 and 2020 (lockdown period) was used in this study. Moreover, the effect of these pollutants on the pandemic spread was also studied. The results illustrated that the overall concentrations of CO, NO2 and PM2.5 were decreased by 19.28%, 36.7% and 1.10%, respectively, while PM10 and SO2 were increased by 27.81% and 3.81% respectively in five selected states of the USA during the lockdown period. However, in the case of chosen provinces of China, overall, the concentrations of all selected pollutants, i.e., CO, NO2, SO2, PM2.5 and PM10, were reduced by 26.53%, 38.98%, 18.36%, 17.78% and 37.85%, respectively. The COVID-19 reported cases and deaths were significantly correlated with NO2, PM2.5 and PM10 in both China and the USA. The findings of this study concluded that the limited anthropogenic activities in the lockdown situation due to this novel pandemic disease result in a significant improvement of air quality by reducing the concentrations of environmental pollutants. As the trend goes on, the reduction of most pollutant concentrations is expected as long as partial or complete lockdown goes on.
China, Coronavirus, Environmental gradients, PM, PM, USA
1873-9318
1-8
Shakoor, Awais
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Chen, Xiaoyong
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Farooq, Taimoor Hassan
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Shahzad, Umer
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Ashraf, Fatima
d842626a-36b1-4df8-b660-42f30d7ffcb7
Rehman, Abdul
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Sahar, Najam E.
ac454553-8dbf-4e81-8a05-1bd1aef7eb24
Yan, Wende
c7971f76-8785-4714-9f5c-4bea9be2bd37
Shakoor, Awais
05cf8898-7b83-42dc-89a6-fe669857584f
Chen, Xiaoyong
a3d497ad-f5ca-4fca-b83a-049871638915
Farooq, Taimoor Hassan
2b19b52a-f97b-4640-a372-5a104bc21795
Shahzad, Umer
8101e375-d924-4536-8295-d8ca5f609bbf
Ashraf, Fatima
d842626a-36b1-4df8-b660-42f30d7ffcb7
Rehman, Abdul
988b7283-b2a1-4d3f-a6ac-bd1a70f305ec
Sahar, Najam E.
ac454553-8dbf-4e81-8a05-1bd1aef7eb24
Yan, Wende
c7971f76-8785-4714-9f5c-4bea9be2bd37

Shakoor, Awais, Chen, Xiaoyong, Farooq, Taimoor Hassan, Shahzad, Umer, Ashraf, Fatima, Rehman, Abdul, Sahar, Najam E. and Yan, Wende (2020) Fluctuations in environmental pollutants and air quality during the lockdown in the USA and China: two sides of COVID-19 pandemic. Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, 13 (11), 1-8. (doi:10.1007/s11869-020-00888-6).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Due to the global threat, many countries impose immediate lockdown. The impact of lockdown on the environmental pollutants and climate indicators gained considerable attention in the literature. This study aims to describe the variations in the environmental pollutants (CO, NO2, SO2, PM2.5 and PM10) with and without the lockdown period in the majorly hit states and provinces of the USA and China, respectively. Data during the first quarter year of 2019 and 2020 (lockdown period) was used in this study. Moreover, the effect of these pollutants on the pandemic spread was also studied. The results illustrated that the overall concentrations of CO, NO2 and PM2.5 were decreased by 19.28%, 36.7% and 1.10%, respectively, while PM10 and SO2 were increased by 27.81% and 3.81% respectively in five selected states of the USA during the lockdown period. However, in the case of chosen provinces of China, overall, the concentrations of all selected pollutants, i.e., CO, NO2, SO2, PM2.5 and PM10, were reduced by 26.53%, 38.98%, 18.36%, 17.78% and 37.85%, respectively. The COVID-19 reported cases and deaths were significantly correlated with NO2, PM2.5 and PM10 in both China and the USA. The findings of this study concluded that the limited anthropogenic activities in the lockdown situation due to this novel pandemic disease result in a significant improvement of air quality by reducing the concentrations of environmental pollutants. As the trend goes on, the reduction of most pollutant concentrations is expected as long as partial or complete lockdown goes on.

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Shakoor et al_AIRQ-D-20-00396_revised file - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 22 July 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 August 2020
Keywords: China, Coronavirus, Environmental gradients, PM, PM, USA

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 443641
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/443641
ISSN: 1873-9318
PURE UUID: f01c4a9f-1a24-4264-a072-224233a2732c

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Date deposited: 07 Sep 2020 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 07:18

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Contributors

Author: Awais Shakoor
Author: Xiaoyong Chen
Author: Taimoor Hassan Farooq
Author: Umer Shahzad
Author: Fatima Ashraf
Author: Abdul Rehman
Author: Najam E. Sahar
Author: Wende Yan

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