2021 Volume 69 Issue 3 Pages 237-245
As a background sampling site in western Japan, the Kanazawa University Wajima Air Monitoring Station (KUWAMS) continuously observes the air pollutants, including PM1, PM2.5, organic carbon (OC) and element carbon (EC). Data for September 2019 to April 2020 were compared with data for September 2018 to April 2019. The mean concentrations of both PM1 and PM2.5 were 4.10 µg/m3 (47%) and 5.82 µg/m3 (33%) lower, respectively in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) period (January to April) than in the same period in 2019. Notably, the average concentrations of both classes of particulate matter (PM) in the COVID-19 period were the lowest for that period in all years since 2016. OC and EC also considerably lower (by 69 and 63%, respectively) during the COVID-19 period than during the same period in 2019. All pollutants were then started to increase after the resumption of the work in 2020. The pollutant variations correspond to the measure implemented during the COVID-19 period, including the nationwide lockdown and work resumption. Furthermore, the reductions in the ratios PM1/PM2.5 and OC/EC during COVID-19 period indicate lighter pollution and fewer emission sources. This analysis of the changes in the pollutant concentrations during the epidemic and non-epidemic periods illustrates the significance of the dominant pollution emissions at KUWAMS and the impact of pollution from China that undergoes long-range transport to KUWAMS.