COVID-19 lockdown only partially alleviates health impacts of air pollution in Northern Italy
- Type of publication:Journal Article
- Date of publication:February 2021
- Author/s:Francesco Granella, Lara Aleluia Reis, Valentina Bosetti and Massimo Tavoni
Evaluating the reduction in pollution caused by a sudden change in emissions is complicated by the confounding effect of weather variations. We propose an approach based on machine learning to build counterfactual scenarios that address the effect of weather and apply it to the COVID-19 lockdown of Lombardy, Italy. Improvement in air quality saved at least 11% of the years of life lost and 19% of the premature deaths attributable to COVID-19 in the region during the same period. The analysis highlights the benefits of improving air quality and the need for an integrated policy response addressing the full diversity of emission sources.