Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Unprecedented reduction in air pollution and corresponding short-term premature mortality associated with COVID-19 lockdown in Delhi, India

Maji, Kamal Jyoti; Namdeo, Anil; Bell, Margaret; Goodman, Paul; Nagendra, S. M.Shiva; Barnes, Joanna H.; De Vito, Laura; Hayes, Enda; Longhurst, James W.; Kumar, Rakesh; Sharma, Niraj; Kuppili, Sudheer Kumar; Alshetty, Dheeraj

Unprecedented reduction in air pollution and corresponding short-term premature mortality associated with COVID-19 lockdown in Delhi, India Thumbnail


Authors

Kamal Jyoti Maji

Anil Namdeo

Margaret Bell

Paul Goodman

S. M.Shiva Nagendra

Profile Image

Dr Laura De Vito Laura.Devito@uwe.ac.uk
Research Fellow in Air Quality Management Resource Centre

Profile Image

Enda Hayes Enda.Hayes@uwe.ac.uk
Professor in Air Quality and Carbon Management

Rakesh Kumar

Niraj Sharma

Sudheer Kumar Kuppili

Dheeraj Alshetty



Abstract

Countries around the world introduced strict restrictions on movement and activities known as ‘lockdowns’ to restrict the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from the end of 2019. A sudden improvement in air quality was observed globally as a result of these lockdowns. To provide insight into the changes in air pollution levels in response to the COVID-19 restrictions we have compared surface air quality data in Delhi during four phases of lockdown and the first phase of the restriction easing period (25 March to 30 June 2020) with data from a baseline period (2018–2019). Simultaneously, short-term exposure of PM and O attributed premature mortality were calculated to understand the health benefit of the change in air quality. Ground–level observations in Delhi showed that concentrations of PM , PM and NO dropped substantially in 2020 during the overall study period compared with the same period in previous years, with average reductions of ~49%, ~39%, and ~39%, respectively. An overall lower reduction in O of ~19% was observed for Delhi. A slight increase in O was found in Delhi’s industrial and traffic regions. The highest peak of the diurnal variation decreased substantially for all the pollutants at every phase. The decrease in PM and O concentrations in 2020, prevented 904 total premature deaths, a 60% improvement when compared to the figures for 2018–2019. The restrictions on human activities during the lockdown have reduced anthropogenic emissions and subsequently improved air quality and human health in one of the most polluted cities in the world. Implications: I am submitting herewith the manuscript entitled “Unprecedented Reduction in Air Pollution and Corresponding Short-term Premature Mortality Associated with COVID-19 Forced Confinement in Delhi, India” for potential publishing in your journal. The novelty of this research lies in: (1) we utilized ground-level air quality data in Delhi during four phases of lockdown and the first phase of unlocking period (25 March to 30 June) for 2020 as well as data from the baseline period (2018–2019) to provide an early insight into the changes in air pollution levels in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, (2) Chatarize the change of diurnal variation of the pollutants and (3) we assess the health risk due to PM and O . Results from ground-level observations in Delhi showed that concentrations of PM , PM and NO substantially dropped in 2020 during the overall study period compared to the similar period in previous years, with an average reduction of ~49%, ~39%, and ~39%, respectively. In the case of O , the overall reduction was observed as ~19% in Delhi, while a slight increase was found in industrial and traffic regions. And consequently, the highest peak of the diurnal variation decreased substantially for all the pollutants. The health impact assessment of the changes in air quality indicated that 904 short-term premature deaths (~60%) were prevented due to the decline in PM and O concentrations in the study period. The restrictions on human activities during the lockdown have reduced the anthropogenic emissions and subsequently improved air quality and human health in one of the most polluted cities in the world.

Citation

Maji, K. J., Namdeo, A., Bell, M., Goodman, P., Nagendra, S. M., Barnes, J. H., …Alshetty, D. (in press). Unprecedented reduction in air pollution and corresponding short-term premature mortality associated with COVID-19 lockdown in Delhi, India. Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association, https://doi.org/10.1080/10962247.2021.1905104

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 15, 2021
Online Publication Date Mar 25, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 25, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jun 8, 2021
Journal Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Print ISSN 1096-2247
Electronic ISSN 2162-2906
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/10962247.2021.1905104
Keywords Waste Management and Disposal; Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/7234419
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope: http://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?show=aimsScope&journalCode=uawm20; Received: 2020-12-15; Revised: 2021-03-12; Accepted: 2021-03-15; Published: 2021-03-25

Files







You might also like



Downloadable Citations