Pollutionwatch: why has particle pollution increased under lockdown?

News reports have focused on reductions in air pollution from traffic during the lockdown, but particle pollution has increased in the last few weeks.

At the end of March, and again around Easter, UK particle pollution reached its greatest concentrations for the year so far. This peaked across south-east England on 9 April, at eight on the 10-point UK air quality index.

Values between four and six were measured over most of England and Wales. Spring smogs happen most years and typically result in air pollution at index eight to 10. So, the lockdown may have averted the worst impacts but why are we having any air pollution at all?

Chemical analysis by King’s College London reveals that the particles came from traffic and industry, gas heating and agriculture. The annual start to the agriculture cycle makes spring the most polluted time of year in western Europe. A global study showed that halving ammonia from farming could reduce the early deaths from air pollution in Europe by around 20%. This could be done by improving fertiliser spreading (also saving farmers money), changing animal feeds and better manure and slurry storage. Home wood burning was measured during the March episode but had less impact in the warmer weather around Easter.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Enter Your Information Below To Receive Free Trading Ideas, Latest News, And Articles.

Please Enter Your Email Address:

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us and our affiliates. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!


‘Heads in the sand’: conservationists condemn US failure to protect wolverines

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has denied protection to wolverines under the Endangered Species Act, frustrating conservation groups who argue the species faces...

African swine fever destroying small pig farms, as factory farming booms – report

Small farmers across the globe are losing out in the aftermath of the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak that killed a quarter of the...

Europe’s cities are leading the fight against xenophobia and the climate crisis | Ada Colau

Conservative politicians have long declared there is no alternative to capitalism. Many of capitalism's cruelties, from housing crises and crumbling public amenities to increasingly...

Pandemic side-effects offer glimpse of alternative future on Earth Day 2020

The skies are clearing of pollution, wildlife is returning to newly clear waters, a host of flights have been scrapped and crude oil is...

Farmers across Europe bank on improvised armies of pickers to save harvest

At this time of year John Greene is usually preparing to welcome dozens of Slovakian strawberry pickers for another harvest at his farm in...