Air pollution falls as UK goes into Coronavirus lockdown
Experts say that UK air pollution in cities is falling as the country goes into Coronavirus lockdown.
This decrease is similar to what has happened in other parts of the world as the Covid-19 spread through the globe.
Images captured from satellites have revealed large reductions in concentrations of pollutant Nitrogen Dioxide in China as well as northern Italy, coinciding with lockdowns to tackle the pandemic.
As the UK now also goes into lockdown, air quality has started to improve to coincide with the reduction of traffic (one main cause of city pollution).
It is not yet clear what health impacts will occur as a result of reduced air pollution, but it is estimated that pollution alone causes around 40,000 early deaths in the UK each year.
Air pollution is linked to various health problems including strokes, heart disease, lung cancer/disease, and respiratory diseases/infections. It has also been linked to stunting the growth of children’s lungs.
Monitoring is showing low levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (primarily coming from vehicle exhausts) and fine pollutant particles known as PM2.5 are low in the London area.
The London Air Quality Network (run by the King’s College London) holds data which shows reduced levels of pollutions compared with average levels, particularly at roadsides.
Prof William Collins, professor of meteorology at the University of Reading, said that large amounts of air pollution breathed in comes from traffic.
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