‘More than 11,000 deaths avoided in Europe due to cleaner air during the lockdown’

Reduced fossil fuel consumption during the epidemic has also resulted in 6,000 fewer new cases of asthma in children and 600 fewer preterm births, according to a new study

The Big Zero report

More than 11,000 deaths have been avoided in Europe due to cleaner skies and reduced air pollution during the coronavirus lockdown.

That’s according to a recent report published by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), which has assessed the air quality and health impacts of reduced fossil fuel consumption during the epidemic.

Findings of the survey suggest the Covid-19 confinement has led to an approximately 40% reduction in the average level of nitrogen dioxide pollution and a 10% reduction in the average level of particulate matter pollution over the past 30 days.

The scientists estimated that this improvement has saved 11,000 lives.

Other avoided health impacts during the ‘stay-at-home’ period include 1.3 million fewer days of work absence, 6,000 fewer new cases of asthma in children, 1,900 avoided emergency room visits due to asthma attacks and 600 fewer pre-term births.

The scientific team noted that most of these health impacts are linked to chronic air pollution exposure and will be realised over the coming months and years.

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