Lockdown prevents many famine deaths related to air pollution: study

Lockdown prevents many famine deaths related to air pollution: study

New York: Researchers have found that the epidemic improved air quality at the beginning of a lockdown to curb the spread of Kovid-19, killing thousands of people in areas where air pollution has a significant effect on mortality .
The study, published in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health, found that particle concentrations dropped during an unprecedented 29.7 percent in China and 17.1 percent in parts of Europe.
Study author Paola Crippa of the University of Notre Dame in the US said, “This unique, real-world experiment shows us that strong improvements in severely polluted areas can be achieved in the short term as well.
Particulate Matter (PM2.5) – Small airborne particles smaller than 1 inch / 10,000 inch in diameter – that come from a variety of emissions-related sources, including industrial emissions, transport, wildfires, and chemical reactions of pollutants in the atmosphere.
The research team integrated advanced computer simulations with particle matter concentrations measured from more than 2,500 sites in Europe and China from January 1, 2016 to June 30, 2020.
This included the period (January 2020 – June 2020) during which both regions began lockdown due to the Kovid-19 epidemic.
From February to March, the study found that an estimated 30,000 premature deaths of 24,200 deaths occurred on average across China, compared to 3,309, with Kovid-19 fatal.
“Improvements in air quality were widespread throughout China due to expanded lockdown measures,” the authors wrote.
The study found that the situation in Europe is quite different. While Kovid-19 related deaths were far higher than those reported in Europe by China, 2,190 deaths during the estimated locking period were still avoided when compared to the average between 2016 and 2019.
Considering the long-term effects, the average lethal figure is much higher (up to 287,000 in China and 29,500 in Europe), depending on the path of future economic recovery.
“In China, we saw that the lockdown caused very significant reductions in PM2.5 concentrations, which meant that policies targeting industrial and traffic emissions could be very effective in the future,” said Crippa.
“Those cuts in Europe were somewhat small, but still had a significant effect, suggesting that other factors could be considered to create an effective mitigation strategy,” Crippa said.

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