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In International journal of environmental health research

Numerous studies have evaluated the effects of lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, but most of them have concerned large cities and regions. This study aimed to evaluate the dynamics of air pollutants during and after the implementation of a short lockdown in the medium-sized city of Pelotas, Brazil, using hourly measurements of pollutants. The evaluation period included in this study was between August 9th and 12th, 2020. A machine learning model was used to investigate the expected behavior against what was observed during the study period. All pollutants presented a gradual reduction until a dynamic plateau established 48 hours after the start of the lockdown: NO2 (↓4%), O3 (↓34%), SO2 (↓24%), CO (↓48%), PM10 (↓82%) and PM2.5 (↓82%). At the end of the restriction measures, the PM10 and PM2.5 levels continued to decline beyond expectations. Our findings show that these measures can positively affect the air quality in medium-sized cities.

Tavella Ronan Adler, El Koury Santos Jéssica, de Moura Fernando Rafael, da Silva Júnior Flávio Manoel Rodrigues


Air pollution, Brazil, COVID-19, air quality