In a recently published study by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), the sharp decline in road traffic and industrial emissions due to coronavirus curbs have resulted in 11,000 fewer deaths from air pollution. Using statistical models combining data for air quality, weather conditions, carbon emissions, population and prevalence of disease, the researchers also found that there were 1.3 million fewer days of work absence, 6,000 fewer children developing asthma and reduced the number of preterm births by 600.
The overall calculation of 11,000 deaths having been avoided is the most likely estimate out of a series of computational analyses, with some results ranging as high as 20,000.
Compared to data from the same period last year, levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution has fallen by 40% and PM2.5 particulate matter has dropped 10%. These two types of air pollution are mainly generated by fossil fuel industries and are responsible for around 470,000 deaths in Europe each year.