Influence of lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on air pollution and carcinogenic content of particulate matter observed in Croatia


Due to the pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 in Croatia, all unnecessary activities were prohibited during the designated lockdown period (March-May 2020). With reduced human activity, levels of some air pollutants decreased. In this study, mass concentrations of the PM1 particle fraction (particulate matter with an equivalent aerodynamic diameter < 1 μm) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in PM1 and NO2 were measured and compared with concentrations measured in the same period the year before. Air pollutant concentrations were measured at two measuring sites: urban residential and urban traffic. Our results show a concentration decrease by 35% for NO2 and PM1 particles and by 26% for total PAHs at the traffic measuring site. At the residential measuring site, only concentrations of NO2 decreased slightly, but PM1 particles and PAHs were similar to the year before.

Authors: Ivana Jakovljević, Zdravka Sever Štrukil, Ranka Godec, Silvije Davila, Gordana Pehnec
; Full Source: Air quality, atmosphere, & health 2020 Oct 7;1-6. doi: 10.1007/s11869-020-00950-3.