The Hidden Enemy: Indoor Air Pollution
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced countries across the globe to enter into lockdowns in much of 2020. While it introduced many economic challenges, one upside was that the world saw a reduction in outdoor air pollution. With restrictions on global and local travel, shutdown of schools and businesses, and halting of industrial activities, there has a been a substantial reduction in nitrogen dioxide (NO2), modest reductions in fine-particle air pollution (PM2.5), and higher levels of ozone (O3) according to the State of Global Air 2020 report. In addition, global emissions from burning fossil fuels fell by a record 7% in the same year according to the Global Carbon Project, an international group of researchers who track emissions.
However, as countries have begun to open back up, pollution levels have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. Scientists at NASA noticed NO2 bouncing back to near normal levels in China three months after the country shut down transportation and much of its economy in early February 2020. Such a focus on outdoor air pollution has diverted attention away fr…
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