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Tags Current Affairs

Work from home could increase pollution

Date: 26 October 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous


Some areas in the UK could experience greater levels of air pollution due to large numbers of people working from home due to the pandemic this winter season.



  • During the course of winter, air pollution, specifically emissions of nitrogen oxides are set to increase in the UK as a result of people spending more time working from their homes and using gas boilers for heating purposes.

  • These additional nitrogen oxide emissions will be roughly equivalent to cancelling out two years’ of gains incurred as a result of traffic pollution measures.

  • Gas combustion in buildings from cookers and boilers is a major source of local air pollution and accounts for roughly 21 percent of nitrogen oxides emissions across the Greater London area for instance.

  • As a result of this increased energy use, urban air quality will worsen, with nitrogen oxide emissions increasing by approximately 12 percent in some UK towns and cities.

  • In London alone, as more people work from home during this winter, nitrogen oxide emissions from boilers can go up by about 56 percent.

  • India’s population has the third highest exposure to PM 2.5, one of the most harmful pollutants for human health.

  • These pollutants, which are one-thirteenth the width of a strand of hair are capable of entering the bloodstream or embedding themselves into the lungs and can cause illnesses such as stroke, lung cancer and heart disease.

  • According to an analysis of pollution trends in India, while the COVID-19 lockdown brought unexpected relief from poor air quality, air quality trends have been improving in the country since 2018.

  • Even so, in winters air pollution rises in Delhi and the Indo-Gangetic plains. This is because of several factors including weather and local conditions, changes in wind speed and vehicular emissions.

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