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Does pollution reduce when people don’t go to Work?

According to a report from UK, air pollution in big cities could increase where a large population starts to work from home. The reason for this in the British context among others, includes the continuous daily use of gas-burning boilers that is said to account for 21% of total NOx emissions across Greater London. It’s predicted that the use of boilers could go up by 56% this winter with more people staying home due to the pandemic.

As for the offices, they continue to be heated for the few who need to be there and continue adding to the pollution. The same applies to vehicle commute given that car commute has increased as an alternative to public transport to avoid getting infected. While pollution levels go up, so does a household’s energy bill with the boilers being used continuously throughout the day which otherwise was used sparingly in the pre-COVID days.

Increased use of boilers is contributing to shortening lives of close to 40,000 people by making them prone to heart or lung problems. It may also contribute to the early death of those suffering from ailments like asthma and hay fever.

Photo by Nelly Antoniadou on Unsplash