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Effect of transport measures and curfew against COVID-19 spread on air pollution (TSP) in Ecuador’s three most populous cities

Abstract: Although the current situation poses challenges to foretelling the future consequences of coronavirus spread, we consider that environmental load-related research has become more important than ever before. Many experts believe that in the framework of increasingly dire public health emergency, policy and decision makers should facilitate COVID-19 outbreak to transitioning to sustainable consumption and production. With the purpose of evaluating the importance of sustainability efforts, here we describe the total suspended particulates (TSP), originating from traffic emissions, caused by air pollution in the three most populous cities of Ecuador. Compared are measurements taken prior to, during, and after (i) traffic measures entered into force at national level; (ii) curfew entered into force at national level; and (iii) quarantine entered into force (in Guayaquil, and whole Guayas province). We documented significant decrease in TSP emissions (PM2.5 and PM10) as compared to normal traffic proceeding in four-lane roads, in the cities of Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca. The most substantial drop in suspended particulate values (96.47% decrease in PM2.5) relative to emissions observed prior to restricting traffic occurred in Cuenca.
Keywords: tsp / PM2.5 / Roads / Ecuador / air / spread / Prior / Cuenca / Guayaquil / Curfew

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