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Air quality variations in Northern South America during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Sci Total Environ. 2020 Dec 20; 749:141621.ST

Abstract

Lockdown measures led to air pollution decrease in several countries around the world such as China and India, whereas other regions experimented an increase in pollutant concentrations. Northern South America (NSA) was one of those areas where pollution changed during lockdown due to high fire activity. This study aims to analyze, for the first time in NSA, the behavior of selected criteria air pollutants during the implementation of the SARS-CoV-2 lockdown in two high populated cities of the region: Bogotá and Medellín in Colombia. A set of tools including surface measurements, as well as satellite and modeled data were used. 24-hour average concentrations of PM10, PM2.5, and NO2 were collected from air quality stations for the lockdown period ranging from February 21 to June 30, 2020. The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) was used to analyze the fire flux OC as a biomass burning (BB) indicator, and tropospheric NO2 concentrations were retrieved from TROPOMI. The HYSPLIT model was used to analyze back trajectories and fire data were obtained from MODIS sensor measurements. Our analysis shows short-term background NO2, PM10, and PM2.5 concentration reductions of 60%, 44%, and 40%, respectively, for the strict lockdown; and 62%, 58%, and 69% for the relaxed lockdown. Corresponding long-term reductions were of 50%, 32%, and 9% for the strict lockdown; and 37%, 29%, and 19% for the relaxed lockdown. Regional BB increased PM2.5 concentrations by 20 μg/m3 during the strict lockdown, and the Saharan dust event increased PM10 concentrations up to 168 μg/m3 in Bogotá, and 104 μg/m3 in Medellín, bringing an additional risk of morbidity and mortality for population. Regional BB has several causes that need to be properly managed to benefit local air quality improvement plans. Future cleaner transport policies equivalent to reduced lockdown mobility could bring pollution close to WHO guidelines.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Ingeniería Ambiental, Escuela de Ciencias Agrícolas, Pecuarias y del Medio Ambiente - ECAPMA, Universidad Nacional Abierta y a Distancia - UNAD, Transversal 31 # 12 - 38 sur, Bogotá, Colombia.Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia.Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia.Centro Lasallista de Investigación y Modelación Ambiental - CLIMA, Universidad de la Salle, 111711 Bogotá, Colombia.Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia.Faculty of Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Universidad Militar Nueva Granada, Km 2 Cajicá, Zipaquirá, Colombia. Electronic address: omar.ramirez@unimilitar.edu.co.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32822915

Citation

Mendez-Espinosa, Juan F., et al. "Air Quality Variations in Northern South America During the COVID-19 Lockdown." The Science of the Total Environment, vol. 749, 2020, p. 141621.
Mendez-Espinosa JF, Rojas NY, Vargas J, et al. Air quality variations in Northern South America during the COVID-19 lockdown. Sci Total Environ. 2020;749:141621.
Mendez-Espinosa, J. F., Rojas, N. Y., Vargas, J., Pachón, J. E., Belalcazar, L. C., & Ramírez, O. (2020). Air quality variations in Northern South America during the COVID-19 lockdown. The Science of the Total Environment, 749, 141621. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141621
Mendez-Espinosa JF, et al. Air Quality Variations in Northern South America During the COVID-19 Lockdown. Sci Total Environ. 2020 Dec 20;749:141621. PubMed PMID: 32822915.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Air quality variations in Northern South America during the COVID-19 lockdown. AU - Mendez-Espinosa,Juan F, AU - Rojas,Nestor Y, AU - Vargas,Jorge, AU - Pachón,Jorge E, AU - Belalcazar,Luis C, AU - Ramírez,Omar, Y1 - 2020/08/11/ PY - 2020/06/02/received PY - 2020/08/05/revised PY - 2020/08/09/accepted PY - 2020/8/22/pubmed PY - 2020/12/29/medline PY - 2020/8/22/entrez KW - Biomass burning KW - Lockdown KW - NO(2) KW - Pandemic KW - Particulate matter KW - SARS-CoV-2 SP - 141621 EP - 141621 JF - The Science of the total environment JO - Sci Total Environ VL - 749 N2 - Lockdown measures led to air pollution decrease in several countries around the world such as China and India, whereas other regions experimented an increase in pollutant concentrations. Northern South America (NSA) was one of those areas where pollution changed during lockdown due to high fire activity. This study aims to analyze, for the first time in NSA, the behavior of selected criteria air pollutants during the implementation of the SARS-CoV-2 lockdown in two high populated cities of the region: Bogotá and Medellín in Colombia. A set of tools including surface measurements, as well as satellite and modeled data were used. 24-hour average concentrations of PM10, PM2.5, and NO2 were collected from air quality stations for the lockdown period ranging from February 21 to June 30, 2020. The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) was used to analyze the fire flux OC as a biomass burning (BB) indicator, and tropospheric NO2 concentrations were retrieved from TROPOMI. The HYSPLIT model was used to analyze back trajectories and fire data were obtained from MODIS sensor measurements. Our analysis shows short-term background NO2, PM10, and PM2.5 concentration reductions of 60%, 44%, and 40%, respectively, for the strict lockdown; and 62%, 58%, and 69% for the relaxed lockdown. Corresponding long-term reductions were of 50%, 32%, and 9% for the strict lockdown; and 37%, 29%, and 19% for the relaxed lockdown. Regional BB increased PM2.5 concentrations by 20 μg/m3 during the strict lockdown, and the Saharan dust event increased PM10 concentrations up to 168 μg/m3 in Bogotá, and 104 μg/m3 in Medellín, bringing an additional risk of morbidity and mortality for population. Regional BB has several causes that need to be properly managed to benefit local air quality improvement plans. Future cleaner transport policies equivalent to reduced lockdown mobility could bring pollution close to WHO guidelines. SN - 1879-1026 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32822915/Air_quality_variations_in_Northern_South_America_during_the_COVID_19_lockdown_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0048-9697(20)35150-0 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -