U.S. Air Quality Improves During Pandemic: Survey

Monday, July 20, 2020 (HealthDay News)

Researchers say air quality in the United States has improved after the business was closed to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus.

Their new study compared air pollution data from 122 counties in the United States from March 13 to April 21 with the same date and location dating back to 2017.

“High air pollution has been shown to play a role in exacerbating respiratory illnesses, including: SARS “It happened in 2002,” said Jesse Berman, an assistant professor of environmental health science at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Researchers have focused on two major types of air pollution that are known to cause health problems: particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). heart, Lung and neurological problems.

Researchers also did not investigate the difference between urban and rural areas, and whether the county ordered the closure of the business early or late in the pandemic, or at all.

They reported NO2 levels fell 25.5% this spring compared to the previous year. The decline was noticeable in all counties, regardless of whether the business was closed early or late in the pandemic.

Overall, PM2.5 levels showed a slight drop. However, according to a recent journal survey, PM2.5 fell 11.3% in counties that closed early and 4.7% in urban counties. Comprehensive environmental science..

Researchers said the reduction in NO2 is likely the result of reduced traffic as more people work from home and drive less.

PM2.5 levels did not drop significantly as particles were distributed by various industries that remained open, such as food production, construction, and energy production.

The US Environmental Protection Agency announced in late March that it would temporarily suspend the enforcement of air quality regulations in response to a pandemic.

“Failure to comply with regulations can increase the risk to people vulnerable to air pollution,” Berman said in a university news release.

–Robert Preidt

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Source: University of Minnesota, News Release, July 13, 2020

U.S. Air Quality Improves During Pandemic: Survey

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