Impact of sars-cov-2 on ambient air particulate matter in Tehran
The pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has indirectly produced both positive and negative effects on the environment, particularly in terms of air quality. Our study aimed to determine these effects in the city of Tehran by comparing the ambient PM2.5 and PM10 levels recorded at 22 air quality monitoring stations during the outbreak (20 February–2 April 2020) with those from the corresponding period last year (20 February–3 April 2019). Contrary to expectation, the average concentrations of both the PM2.5 and the PM10 were markedly higher during the former, increasing by 20.5% and 15.7%, respectively, for the first month of the outbreak (20 February–19 March 2020) and by 23.5% and 20.0% for the subsequent Nowruz New Year holidays (from late March till early April), which resulted in overall increases of 20.5% and 16.5% for the entire period. The non-integrated responses to the pandemic, including the failure to close administrative centers and, in particular, the recommendation to maintain social distancing by reducing public transportation use (prompting citizens to travel by private vehicle), have worsened the ambient air quality in Tehran, providing an exceptional opportunity to evaluate the direct/indirect influence of air quality policies and emission control measures on PM2.5 and PM10. Because of the significant association between the lethality of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and exposure to ambient air pollution, the rise in airborne PM2.5 during this outbreak may increase the mortality rate of SARS-CoV-2. © The Author's institution.
Air quality; Diseases; Emission control; Particles (particulate matter); Air quality monitoring stations; Ambient air pollution; Average concentration; Emission control measures; Integrated response; Positive and negative effect; Public transportation; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus; Quality control; air quality; ambient air; concentration (composition); emission control; mortality; particulate matter; severe acute respiratory syndrome; Iran; Tehran [Iran]; Coronavirus; SARS coronavirus