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Open AccessArticle

Air Quality during COVID-19 in Four Megacities: Lessons and Challenges for Public Health

1
Global Health and Sustainability Doctorate Program, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo—USP, São Paulo 01246-904, Brazil
2
Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo—USP, São Paulo 01246-904, Brazil
3
School of Arts, Sciences and Humanity, University of São Paulo—USP, São Paulo 03828-000, Brazil
4
Department of Infrastructure and Environment, School of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Urban Design, University of Campinas—UNICAMP, Campinas 13083-889, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5067; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145067
Received: 29 May 2020 / Revised: 27 June 2020 / Accepted: 8 July 2020 / Published: 14 July 2020
The study described in this manuscript analyzed the effects of quarantine and social distancing policies implemented due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on air pollution levels in four western megacities: São Paulo in Brazil; Paris in France; and Los Angeles and New York in the United States. The study investigated the levels of four air pollutants—Carbon monoxide (CO), Ozone (O3), Fine Particulate (PM2.5) and Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)—during the month of March 2020, compared to 2015–2019, in the urban air of these metropolitan areas, controlling for meteorological variables. Results indicated reductions in the levels of PM2.5, CO and NO2, with reductions of the latter two showing statistical significance. In contrast, tropospheric ozone levels increased, except in Los Angeles. The beneficial health effects of cleaner air might also help prevent deaths caused by the epidemic of COVID-19 in megacities by diminishing pressure on hospitals and health equipment. Future actions for the re-starting of non-essential economic activities in these cities should take into consideration the overall importance of health for the individual, as well as for societies. View Full-Text
Keywords: air pollution; Covid-19; urban health; traffic reductions; activity restrictions air pollution; Covid-19; urban health; traffic reductions; activity restrictions
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MDPI and ACS Style

Connerton, P.; Vicente de Assunção, J.; Maura de Miranda, R.; Dorothée Slovic, A.; José Pérez-Martínez, P.; Ribeiro, H. Air Quality during COVID-19 in Four Megacities: Lessons and Challenges for Public Health. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5067. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145067

AMA Style

Connerton P, Vicente de Assunção J, Maura de Miranda R, Dorothée Slovic A, José Pérez-Martínez P, Ribeiro H. Air Quality during COVID-19 in Four Megacities: Lessons and Challenges for Public Health. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(14):5067. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145067

Chicago/Turabian Style

Connerton, Patrick; Vicente de Assunção, João; Maura de Miranda, Regina; Dorothée Slovic, Anne; José Pérez-Martínez, Pedro; Ribeiro, Helena. 2020. "Air Quality during COVID-19 in Four Megacities: Lessons and Challenges for Public Health" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 14: 5067. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145067

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