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Sci Total Environ ; 739: 140000, 2020 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-548125


Wuhan was the first city to adopt the lockdown measures to prevent COVID-19 spreading, which improved the air quality accordingly. This study investigated the variations in chemical compositions, source contributions, and regional transport of fine particles (PM2.5) during January 23-February 22 of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019. The average mass concentration of PM2.5 decreased from 72.9 µg m-3 (2019) to 45.9 µg m-3 (2020), by 27.0 µg m-3. It was predominantly contributed by the emission reduction (92.0%), retrieved from a random forest tree approach. The main chemical species of PM2.5 all decreased with the reductions ranging from 0.85 µg m-3 (chloride) to 9.86 µg m-3 (nitrate) (p < 0.01). Positive matrix factorization model indicated that the mass contributions of seven PM2.5 sources all decreased. However, their contribution percentages varied from -11.0% (industrial processes) to 8.70% (secondary inorganic aerosol). Source contributions of PM2.5 transported from potential geographical regions showed reductions with mean values ranging from 0.22 to 4.36 µg m-3. However, increased contributions of firework burning, secondary inorganic aerosol, road dust, and vehicle emissions from transboundary transport were observed. This study highlighted the complex and nonlinear response of chemical compositions and sources of PM2.5 to air pollution control measures, suggesting the importance of regional-joint control.

Air Pollutants/analysis , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Particulate Matter/analysis , Pneumonia, Viral , Betacoronavirus , Cities , Environmental Monitoring , Humans , Vehicle Emissions/analysis