The Influence of COVID-19 on Particulate Matter Concentrations in a Medium-Sized Town
Keywords:PM10, PM2.5, COVID-19, traffic, particulate matter
The pandemic caused by the coronavirus COVID-19 is having a worldwide impact that affects health, economy and air pollution in cities indirectly. In Slovenia, as well as in all other countries, the number of cases of infected people increased continually in 2020, which affected the health system and caused movement restrictions, which, in turn, affected the air pollution in the country. This article presents the indirect effect produced by this pandemic on air pollution in Maribor, Slovenia. Traffic and air quality data were used to perform the evaluation, in particular PM10 and PM2.5 daily concentrations from the monitoring station in Maribor. By observing the detailed traffic data and particulate matter concentrations acquired in the Maribor city centre before and during the pandemic times, we show the influence of COVID-19 on particulate matter concentrations in that part of the town. The results show slightly lower particulate matter concentrations, which could be explained by the significantly lower traffic volume values in the lockdown months.
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