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Chile's coronavirus restrictions clean up the air in Santiago - 30% reduction in air pollution

Air pollution in Chile's capital Santiago, a sprawling metropolis and industrial hub of 6 million, has plunged in the past month by as much as a third as large swaths of the city have been shuttered to combat coronavirus, according to a report released on Thursday by the University of Santiago.

The university´s Antarctic Research Group compared pollution levels between March 15 and April 14 with the same period in 2019 and found contamination fell as much as 30%, the study said.

The sharp drop was "a product of the low concentration of nitrogen dioxide in the capital, a compound that results from the use of fossil fuels generated by both industry and vehicles," the university said in a statement.

Scientists have documented similar declines in smog and contaminants in cities across the globe, from Europe to India and China, as industrial activity and transportation have all but shut down in many regional hubs.


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