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As Pandemic Keeps People Home, Vancouver’s Air Quality Improves

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Photo: sworldguy / Flickr

As city activity slows down amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Vancouver’s air quality is reaping the benefits.

Vancouver is among several Canadian cities to see a large drop in air pollution, since people began staying at home.

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“Particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide are substantially down in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary,” said Miriam Diamond, an Earth Sciences professor at the University of Toronto, to News 1130. “Those air pollutants are about half of what they were prior to the shutdown.”


The drop in pollution is largely a result of less vehicle emissions and people keeping their trips short.

Recent reports from geospatial analysis group, Descartes Labs, show how air quality has improved.

The data looks at major cities and their average levels of atmospheric nitrogen dioxide. It showed last month that the average rate in Vancouver has plummeted compared to last year.

And while B.C. is commonly considered a green place, Vancouverites may be breathing even easier these days.

But as pleasant as this news is, remember to social distance when you go outside and to avoid busy areas like the beach.

For more stories around Vancouver, head to our News section.


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