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Article

Assessment of COVID-19 Lockdown Impact on the Air Quality in Eastern Spain: PM and BTX in Urban, Suburban and Rural Sites Exposed to Different Emissions

EUPHORE Laboratories, Fundación Centro de Estudios Ambientales del Mediterráneo (CEAM), Avda. Charles R. Darwin, 14, Parque Tecnológico, 46980 Paterna, Spain
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Academic Editors: Ruixiong Zhang, Tzung May Fu, Deborah S. Gross and Andrey Khlystov
Atmosphere 2022, 13(1), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13010097
Received: 21 December 2021 / Revised: 30 December 2021 / Accepted: 1 January 2022 / Published: 8 January 2022
In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic spread globally, and severe measures to control it were implemented. This study investigates the impact of the lockdown on the air quality of three provinces in the Valencia region, eastern Spain, in the years 2015–2020, focusing on particulate matter (PM). A thorough statistical analysis using different approaches is conducted. Hourly patterns are also assessed. In addition, the role of meteorological parameters on PM is explored. The results indicate an overall PM10 reduction of 16.5% when comparing the lockdown in 2020 and the 2015–2019 period, while PM2.5 increased by 3.1%. As expected, urban zones experienced higher reductions than suburban zones, which experienced a PM concentration increase. The impact of the drastic drops of benzene, toluene and xylene (77.4%, 58.0% and 61.8%, respectively) on the PM values observed in urban sites is discussed. Our study provides insights on the effect of activity changes over a wide region covering a variety of air quality stations, urban, suburban and rural, and different emission types. The results of this work are a valuable reference and suggest the need for considering different factors when establishing scientific air pollution control strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; PM2.5; PM10; BTX; cluster analysis; meteorology; AQC; air quality COVID-19; PM2.5; PM10; BTX; cluster analysis; meteorology; AQC; air quality
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ródenas, M.; Soler, R.; Borrás, E.; Vera, T.; Diéguez, J.J.; Muñoz, A. Assessment of COVID-19 Lockdown Impact on the Air Quality in Eastern Spain: PM and BTX in Urban, Suburban and Rural Sites Exposed to Different Emissions. Atmosphere 2022, 13, 97. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13010097

AMA Style

Ródenas M, Soler R, Borrás E, Vera T, Diéguez JJ, Muñoz A. Assessment of COVID-19 Lockdown Impact on the Air Quality in Eastern Spain: PM and BTX in Urban, Suburban and Rural Sites Exposed to Different Emissions. Atmosphere. 2022; 13(1):97. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13010097

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ródenas, Milagros, Rubén Soler, Esther Borrás, Teresa Vera, José J. Diéguez, and Amalia Muñoz. 2022. "Assessment of COVID-19 Lockdown Impact on the Air Quality in Eastern Spain: PM and BTX in Urban, Suburban and Rural Sites Exposed to Different Emissions" Atmosphere 13, no. 1: 97. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13010097

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