COVID-19 and air quality in Canada

Project Description

SOCAAR Principal Investigators are involved in different activities to analyze the impact of the measures taken to limit the spread of the coronavirus on air quality. Indeed, these unprecedented times provide a unique opportunity to better identify the sources of air pollution in Canada and the potential benefits of mitigation actions.


Activities and results

- Assess how outdoor air quality in Canadian cities changed pre-, during- and post-shutdown, to reveal the relative roles of sources such as traffic and industry. Evaluate the efficacy of using CO2 as a measure of exhaled breath in indoor spaces that reflects the potential for infection.

- Examine how much and why air pollutant concentrations changed during the shutdown in cities across Canada to evaluate the long-term gains in air quality that might potentially be achieved through future policy changes such as the adoption of cleaner transportation.

- Identify sources of air pollution within Toronto that may result from changes in transportation patterns, energy use, employment and industrial operations before, during, and after the pandemic. Co-benefit analysis of air quality and resulting health impacts when undertaking greenhouse gas mitigation action.

- Evolution of air quality during the COVID-19 shutdown in Toronto

- Research publication: "An ecological analysis of long-term exposure to PM2.5 and incidence of COVID-19 in Canadian health regions"


Brice Rousseau (