Abu Dhabi: A 50 per cent decrease in transport-related air pollutants was registered in Abu Dhabi compared to the past six weeks, the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) revealed on Thursday.
The significant decrease in concentrations of transport-related air pollutants in Abu Dhabi has been recorded since preventive and precautionary measures were taken by the UAE to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, EAD’s Secretary General said: “The data showed a 50 per cent decrease of the average nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in Abu Dhabi compared to the past six weeks. The average levels have reduced from 56.95 µg/m3 before six weeks to 28.44 µg/m3 this week.
This decrease is a direct result of the safety measures taken by the government of the UAE encouraging social distancing and reducing traffic movement to control the coronavirus pandemic, she said.
Dr Al Dhaheri noted that; “Transport is one of the main sources of nitrogen dioxide gas and with less vehicles on the street, there has been a noticeable difference in the air quality of the Emirate. Similarly, significant reductions of other transport-related pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon monoxide (CO) have also been observed.”
She said: “The decrease in air pollution in Abu Dhabi is similar to what is happening in other countries across the globe as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. According to global reports issued by the European Environment Agency, the reduction rates range from a 26 per cent to 51 per cent decrease in cities such as Rome, Barcelona, Madrid - to name a few.”
Dr. Al Dhaheri also said that the current data is evidence of the impact of human activity on the environment and emissions in Abu Dhabi.
The EAD monitors air quality in the emirate through an integrated network of 20 fixed and two mobile stations.
The network monitors about 17 different parameters using the latest technologies and methods recognised by the International Organisation for Standardisation.