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Sci Total Environ ; 890: 164070, 2023 Sep 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2320865


For three years, a large amount of manufactured pollutants such as plastics, antibiotics and disinfectants has been released into the environment due to COVID-19. The accumulation of these pollutants in the environment has exacerbated the damage to the soil system. However, since the epidemic outbreak, the focus of researchers and public attention has consistently been on human health. It is noteworthy that studies conducted in conjunction with soil pollution and COVID-19 represent only 4 % of all COVID-19 studies. In order to enhance researchers' and the public awareness of the seriousness on the COVID-19 derived soil pollution, we propose the viewpoint that "pandemic COVID-19 ends but soil pollution increases" and recommend a whole-cell biosensor based new method to assess the environmental risk of COVID-19 derived pollutants. This approach is expected to provide a new way for environmental risk assessment of soils affected by contaminants produced from the pandemic.

COVID-19 , Environmental Pollutants , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Environmental Pollution/analysis , Soil , Plastics , Risk Assessment
Environ Res ; 204(Pt B): 112107, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433213


The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown supposedly provided a 'window' of reinstatement to natural resources including the air quality, but the scenario after the phased unlocking is yet to be explored. Consequently, here we evaluated the status of air quality during the 8th phase of unlocking of COVID-19 lockdown (January 2021) at three locations of North India. The first site (S1) was located at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana-PPCB; the second site (S2) at Yamunapuram, Bulandshahr-UPPCB; and the third site (S3) at Okhla Phase-2, Delhi-DPCC. The levels of PM2.5 showed a significant increase of 525.2%, 281.2%, and 185.0% at sites S1, S2 and S3, respectively in the unlock 8 (January 2021), in comparison to its concentration in the lockdown phase. Coherently, the levels of PM10 also showed a prominent increase of 284.5%, 189.1%, and 103.9% at sites S3, S1, and S2, respectively during the unlock 8 as compared to its concentration in the lockdown phase. This rise in the concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 could be primarily attributed to the use of biomass fuel, industrial and vehicular emissions, stubble burning considering the agricultural activities at sites S1 and S2. Site S3 is a major industrial hub and has the highest population density among all three sites. Consequently, the maximum increase (295.7%) in the NO2 levels during the unlock 8 was witnessed at site S3. The strong correlation between PM2.5, PM10, and CO, along with the PM2.5/PM10 ratio confirmed the similar origin of these pollutants at all the three sites. The improvements in the levels of air quality during the COVID-19 lockdown were major overtaken during the various phases of unlocking consequent to the initiation of anthropogenic processes.

Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollution/analysis , Cities , Communicable Disease Control , Environmental Monitoring , Humans , India , Pandemics , Particulate Matter/analysis , SARS-CoV-2