Brussels’ air quality improved significantly during lockdown
Friday, 22 May 2020
Brussels’ air quality improved after a month and a half of lockdown, according to reports from Brussels Environment presented Friday by the cabinet of Regional Minister Alain Maron.
The concentrations of various pollutants recorded from 19 March to 3 May were compared with data for 2010-2019.
In places with heavy traffic, nitrogen monoxide (NO) decreased by 75% and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) by 50%. Even at stations with less exposure, the concentration of NO has decreased by 30% and that of NO2 by 40%.
“NO2 being a pollutant that can be transported over long distances (unlike NO), these values show that the pollution imported into the Brussels Region has also decreased significantly,” said Olivier Brasseur, head of the Air Quality Laboratory at Brussels Environment. “This is more than likely an effect linked to the containment measures taken in Belgium and neighbouring countries”.
Black carbon, a particulate compound smaller than 0.5 micrometres that is primarily related to road traffic, has also fallen with containment. Since fine particles have multiple sources overall, however; traffic is only of partial influence.