As the novel coronavirus spreads across Central Indiana, Hoosiers are holed up in their homes to wait out the pandemic. And, much like other cities across the world, this has created a particular environmental benefit: Air quality has improved.
Simply put, fewer cars on the road means fewer pollutants fouling the air.
And Indiana's stay-at-home order means there are a lot fewer cars on the road. The state’s main air monitor for Indianapolis showed a 38% drop in emissions of nitrogen dioxide, a substance commonly used to measure traffic pollution, compared to the same last year.
“I can now say unequivocally that the stay-at-home order has resulted in better air quality, immediately,” said Gabriel Filippelli, director of the Center for Urban Health at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
The improvement could be particularly beneficial in Central Indiana, which has historically had high levels of air pollution, concerning public health experts.