Air pollution halved in first UK lockdown but fell less in the third

Pollution from smoky chimney.

David Wall / Alamy

Air pollution fell by only 28 per cent during the most recent lockdowns across the UK compared to a halving during the first lockdown, despite restrictions and ensuing drops in traffic being similar.

The difference is likely explained by increased air pollution from gas boilers as people worked from home and tried to keep warm during the winter, says Rhianna Evans at University of York, who led the study into levels of the toxic gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

“Covid has provided us with a glimpse into the future of air pollution,” …



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