According to a COVID-19 Air Quality report released earlier this week by IQAir, a Switzerland based air quality data and solutions company, air pollution levels in 10 major cities around the world have dropped significantly due to the global pandemic that has kept businesses closed and residents at home.
The report, published the day before Earth Day, examined the fine particle pollution levels or particulate matter (PM) of 10 cities during the lockdown compared to the year before.
Of the 10 cities examined – Delhi, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Madrid, Mumbai, Rome, São Paulo, Seoul and Wuhan – all but Rome reported reductions in PM.
According to the report, Delhi experienced a 60 percent reduction in PM readings from the year before, Seoul – 54 percent, Wuhan – 44 percent, Mumbai – 34 percent and São Paulo – 32 percent.
Los Angeles recorded its longest period of clean air, with pollution levels down 31 percent compared to the year before. Likewise, New York City saw air pollution drop 25 percent as a result of its lockdown.
Results in London and Madrid were comparatively modest, with reductions in PM of nine and 11 percent.
Rome, the only outlier in the group, saw a 30 percent increase in PM levels. The report did not elaborate on the reason for the increase.