Special Issue on COVID-19 Aerosol Drivers, Impacts and Mitigation (VI)

Zulfa Hanan Ash’aari1, Ahmad Zaharin Aris This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Eliani Ezani2, Nurfatin Izzati Ahmad Kamal1, Norlin Jaafar3, Jasrul Nizam Jahaya3, Shamsuri Abdul Manan3,  Muhamad Firdaus Umar Saifuddin1

1 Department of Environment, Faculty of Forestry and Environment, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400, UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
3Department of Environment, Wisma Sumber Asli, Persiaran Perdana, 62574 Federal Territory of Putrajaya, Malaysia


 

Received: June 21, 2020
Revised: August 8, 2020
Accepted: August 19, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.


Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.06.0334  


Cite this article:

Ash’aari, Z.H., Aris, A.Z., Ezani, E., Ahmad Kamal, N.I., Jaafar, N., Jahaya, J.N., Manan, S.A. and Umar Saifuddin, M.F. (2020). Spatiotemporal Variations and Contributing Factors of Air Pollutant Concentrations in Malaysia during Movement Control Order due to Pandemic COVID-19. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 2047–2061. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.06.0334


HIGHLIGHTS

  • Urban and sub-urban settings exhibit significant reduction of all major air pollutants during MCO.
  • Rural stations located in other region than central and north peninsular exhibit no change.
  • Background station shows improvement, an evidence of minimum human impact.
  • Local economic activities hence proof the impact of MCO at other settings.
 

ABSTRACT


The restriction of daily and economic-related activities due to COVID-19 pandemic via lockdown order has been reported to improve air quality. This study evaluated temporal and spatial variations of four major air pollutant concentrations across Malaysia before (March 4, 2020–March 17, 2020) and during the implementation of different phases of Movement Control Order (MCO) (March 18, 2020–May 12, 2020) from 65 official regulatory air quality stations. Results showed that restriction in daily and economic activities has remarkably reduced the air quality in all sub-urban, urban, and industrial settings with relatively small contributions from meteorological conditions. Overall, compared to before MCO, average concentrations of PM2.5, CO, and NO2 reduced by 23.1%, 21.74%, and 54.0%, respectively, while that of SO2 was constant. The highest reduction of PM2.5, CO, and NO2 were observed in stations located in urban setting, where 63% stations showed significant reduction (p < 0.05) for PM2.5 and CO, while all stations showed significant reduction in NO2 concentrations. It was also revealed that 70.5% stations recorded lower concentrations of PM2.5 during MCO compared to before MCO, despite that high numbers of local hotspots were observed simultaneously from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Spatial analysis showed that the northern part of Peninsular had the highest significant reduction of PM2.5, while the highest of NO2 and CO reduction were found in stations located in the central region. All pollutants exhibit similar diurnal trends when compared between pre- and during MCO although significant lower readings were observed during MCO. This study gives confidence to regulatory body; the enforcement of strict air pollution prevention and control policies could help in reducing pollution.


Keywords: Aerosols; Anthropogenic emissions; Area sources; Mobile sources; Stationary sources.



REFERENCES


  1. Abdullah, S., Mansor, A.A., Napi, N., Mansor, W., Ahmed, A.N., Ismail, M. and Ramly, Z. (2020). Air quality status during 2020 Malaysia Movement Control Order (MCO) due to 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) pandemic. Sci. Total Environ. 729: 139022. [Publisher Site]

  2. Afroz, R., Hassan, M.N. and Ibrahim, N.A. (2003). Review of air pollution and health impacts in Malaysia. Environ. Res. 92: 71–77. [Publisher Site]

  3. Ahmad, A. (2020, July 1). Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan digazet, hukuman 6 bulan penjara, tambahan sektor penting. [Website Link]

  4. Amil, N., Mohd, T.L., Md, F.K. and Mohamad, M. (2016). Seasonal variability of PM2.5 composition and sources in the Klang Valley urban-industrial environment. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 16: 5357–5381. [Publisher Site]

  5. Ashaari, Z.H., Bigg, G.R. and Bryant, R.G. (2014). Patterns of Aerosol Over Malaysia from Multiple Satellite-Borne Sensors. In: From Sources to Solution, Aris A., Tengku Ismail, T., Harun, R., Abdullah, A. and Ishak, M. (Eds.), Springer, Singapore.

  6. Awang, M.B., Jaafar, A.B., Abdullah, A.M., Ismail, M.B., Hassan, M.N., Abdullah, R., Johan, S. and Noor, H. (2000). Air quality in Malaysia: Impacts, management issues and future challenges. Respirology 5: 183–196. [Publisher Site]

  7. Azmi, S.Z., Latif, M.T., Ismail, A.S., Juneng, L. and Jemain, A.A. (2010). Trend and status of air quality at three different monitoring stations in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. Air Qual. Atmos. Health 3: 53–64. [Publisher Site]

  8. Bernama (2020a, August 1). Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO). [Website Link]

  9. Bernama (2020b, August 1). Essence of Conditional Movement Order (CMCO). [Website Link]

  10. Bunyan, J. (2020, June 1). PM: Malaysia under movement control order from Wed until March 31, all shops closed except for essential services. [Website Link]

  11. Chan, J.F., Yuan, S. and Kok, K.H. (2020). A familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating person-to-person transmission: A study of a family cluster. Lancet 395: 514–523. [Publisher Site]

  12. Chen, Q.X., Huang, C.L., Yuan, Y. and Tan, H.P. (2020). Influence of COVID-19 Event on air quality and their association in mainland China. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 1541–1551. [Publisher Site]

  13. Collivignarelli, M.C., Abbà, A., Bertanza, G., Pedrazzani, R., Ricciardi, P. and Carnevale Miino, M. (2020). Lockdown for CoViD-2019 in Milan: What are the effects on air quality? Sci. Total Environ. 732: 139280. [Publisher Site]

  14. Dantas, G., Siciliano, B., França, B.B., da Silva, C.M. and Arbilla, G. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 partial lockdown on the air quality of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sci. Total Environ. 729: 139085. [Publisher Site]

  15. Dominick, D., Juahir, H., Latif, M.T., Zain, S.M. and Aris, A.Z. (2012). Spatial assessment of air quality patterns in Malaysia using multivariate analysis. Atmos. Environ. 60: 172–181. [Publisher Site]

  16. Dutheil, F., Baker, J.S. and Navel, V. (2020). COVID-19 as a factor influencing air pollution? Environ. Pollut. 263: 114466. [Publisher Site]

  17. Ee-ling, O., Mustaffa, N.I., Hamizah, Amil, N., Khan, M.F. and Latif, M.T. (2015). Source contribution of PM2.5 at different locations on the Malaysian Peninsula. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 94: 537–542. [Publisher Site]

  18. Filonchyk, M. and Hurynovich, V. (2020). Spatial distribution and temporal variation of atmospheric pollution in the South Gobi Desert, China, during 2016–2019. Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. 27: 26579–26593. [Publisher Site]

  19. Filonchyk, M., Hurynovich, V., Yan, H., Gusev, A. and Shpilevskaya, N. (2020). Impact assessment of COVID-19 on variations of SO2, NO2, CO and AOD over east China. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 1530–1540. [Publisher Site]

  20. Google LLC. (2020, August 2). COVID-19 community mobility report. [Website Link]
  21. Ismail, A.S. Abdullah, A.M and Samah, M.A.A. (2017). Environmetric study on air quality pattern for assessment in northern region of Peninsular Malaysia. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. 10: 186–196. [Publisher Site]

  22. Kanniah, K.D., Kamarul Zaman, N.A.F., Kaskaoutis, D.G. and Latif, M.T. (2020). COVID-19’s impact on the atmospheric environment in the Southeast Asia region. Sci. Total Environ. 736: 139658. [Publisher Site]

  23. Khan, M.F., Latif, M.T., Saw, W.H., Amil, N., Nadzir, M.S.M., Sahani, M., Tahir, N.M. and Chung, J.X. (2015). Fine particulate matter in the tropical environment: Monsoonal effects, source apportionment, and health risk assessment. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 16: 597–617. [Publisher Site]

  24. Latif, M.T., Dominick, D., Ahamad, F., Khan, M.F., Juneng, L., Hamzah, F.M. and Nadzir, M.S.M. (2014). Long term assessment of air quality from a background station on the Malaysian peninsula. Sci. Total Environ. 482: 336–348. [Publisher Site]

  25. Latif, M.T., Othman, M., Idris, N., Juneng, L., Abdullah, A.M., Hamzah, W.P., Khan, M.F., Sulaiman, N.M.N., Jewaratnam, J., Aghamohammadi, N., Sahani, M., Chung, J.X., Ahamad, F., Amil, N., Darus, M., Varkkey, H., Tangang, F. and Jaafar A.B. (2018) Impact of regional haze towards air quality in Malaysia: A review. Atmos. Environ. 177: 28–44. [Publisher Site]

  26. Li, J. and Tartarini, F. (2020). Changes in air quality during the COVID-19 lockdown in Singapore and associations with human mobility trends. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 1748–1758. [Publisher Site]

  27. Md Shah, A.U., Safri, S.N.A., Thevadas, R., Noordin, N.K., Abd Rahman, A., Sekawi, Z., Ideris, A. and Hameed Sultan, M.T. (2020). COVID-19 outbreak in Malaysia: Actions taken by the Malaysian government. Int. J. Infect. Dis. 97: 108–116. [Publisher Site]

  28. Mohd Nadzir, M.S., Ooi, M.C.G., Alhasa, K.M., Bakar, M.A.A., Mohtar, A.A.A., Nor, M.F.F.M., Latif, M.T., Hamid, H.H.A., Ali, S.H.M., Ariff, N.M., Anuar, J., Ahamad, F., Azhari, A., Hanif, N.M., Subhi, M.A., Othman, M. and Nor. M.Z.M. (2020). The Impact of movement control order (MCO) during pandemic COVID-19 on local air quality in an urban area of Klang Valley, Malaysia. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 1237–1248. [Publisher Site]

  29. Mohtar, A.A.A., Latif, M.T., Baharudin, N.H., Ahamad, F., Chung, J.X., Othman, M. and Juneng, L. (2018). Variation of major air pollutants in different seasonal conditions in an urban environment in Malaysia. Geosci. Lett. 5: 21. [Publisher Site]

  30. Navinya, C., Patidar, G. and Phuleria, H.C. (2020). Examining effects of the COVID-19 national lockdown on ambient air quality across urban India. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 1759–1771. [Publisher Site]

  31. Pascarella, G., Strumia, A., and Piliego, C., Bruno, F., Del Buono, R., Costa, F., Scarlata, S. and Agrò, F.E. (2020). COVID-19 diagnosis and management: A comprehensive review. J. Intern Med. 288: 192–206. [Publisher Site]

  32. Prime Minister’s Office (2020a, August 1). Kenyataan Media MKN: Perincian Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan. [Website Link]

  33. Prime Minister’s Office (2020b, August 1). Restriction of Movement Order. [Website Link]

  34. Rosman, P.S., Abu Samah, M.A. and Yunus, K. (2019). A Research on Concentration and Distribution of Airborne Particulate Matter in Kuantan City. Int. J. Recent Technol. Eng. 8: 288–292. [Publisher Site]

  35. Şahin, Ü.A. (2020). The effects of COVID-19 measures on air pollutant concentrations at urban and traffic sites in Istanbul. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 1874–1885. [Publisher Site]

  36. Sharma, S., Zhang, M., Anshika, Gao, J., Zhang, H. and Kota, S.H. (2020). Effect of restricted emissions during COVID-19 on air quality in India. Sci. Total Environ. 728: 138878. [Publisher Site]

  37. Suhaimi, N.F., Jalaludin, J. and Latif, M.T. (2020). Demystifying a possible relationship between COVID-19, air quality and meteorological factors: Evidence from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 1520–1529. [Publisher Site]

  38. Tahir, N.M., Koh, M. and Suratman, S. (2013). PM2.5 and associated ionic species in a sub-urban coastal area of Kuala Terengganu, Southern South China Sea (Malaysia). Sains Malays. 42: 1065–1072.

  39. Venter, Z.S., Aunan, K., Chowdhury, S. and Lelieveld, J. (2020). COVID-19 lockdowns cause global air pollution declines with implications for public health risk. medRxiv. 2020.04.10.20060673. [Publisher Site]

  40. Wong, D., Yuan, L. and Perlin, S. (2004). Comparison of spatial interpolation methods for the estimation of air quality data. J. Exposure Sci. Environ. Epidemiol. 14: 404–415. [Publisher Site]

  41. World Health Organization (WHO) (2020a, August 1). WHO Director-General's remarks at the media briefing on 2019-nCoV on 11 February 2020. [Website Link]

  42. World Health Organization (WHO) (2020b, August 1). Statement on the second meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). [Website Link]

  43. World Health Organization (WHO) (2020c, August 1). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Situation Report-192. [PDF Link]

Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20 :2047 -2061 . https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.06.0334  


Don't forget to share this article 

 

Subscribe to our Newsletter 

Aerosol and Air Quality Research has published over 2,000 peer-reviewed articles. Enter your email address to receive latest updates and research articles to your inbox every second week.

Latest coronavirus research from Aerosol and Air Quality Research

2018 Impact Factor: 2.735

5-Year Impact Factor: 2.827


SCImago Journal & Country Rank

Aerosol and Air Quality Research (AAQR) is an independently-run non-profit journal, promotes submissions of high-quality research, and strives to be one of the leading aerosol and air quality open-access journals in the world.