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Air pollution down in major European cities

 - 22/05/2020

Nitrogen dioxide emissions, produced mainly by vehicles and industrial activities, dropped by 54% in Paris and about 45% in Madrid, Milan and Rome during the lockdown, according to maps published by the European Space Agency in April.

From March 13 to April 13 2020, nitrogen dioxide concentrations dropped by 54% in the French capital and by 49% in Rome, 48% in Madrid and 47% in Milan, according to the European Space Agency, compared to averages recorded in March/April 2019. This data has an error margin of more or less 15%.

These significant drops “coincided with the strict quarantine measures implemented across Europe” indicated a press release.

Nitrogen dioxide, a gas that causes major inflammation of respiratory tracts, is a pollutant with a short life cycle, which makes it a good indicator of human activity.

The maps are based on work carried out by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, which intends to publish further data concerning northern European countries.

According to the m report by the European Environment Agency on air quality in 2019, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is responsible for 68,000 premature deaths per year in the European Union.