10 Positive Updates on the COVID-19 From Around the World

If it seems that your news feed has been flooded with nerve-wracking updates on the COVID-19 outbreaks, have no fear—there are also plenty of positive updates on the pandemic as well.

As coronavirus tanks economies, cleaner skies and water emerge

Images of clear skies over China and California, or fish swimming in in Venice’s canals, are a glimpse of what it might look like if we took better care of the Earth. 

Washington State in U.S. To Ban Bottled Water Extraction

This legislation would help protect the state’s water resources, helping keep the limited freshwater supplies in the state. It would ban the extraction of local water supplies in plastic bottles shipped out of watersheds and around the country. 

New bacteria will help to fight climate change

US researchers have found a new species of soil bacteria that is particularly adept at breaking down organic matter, including cancer-causing chemicals that are released when coal, gas, oil and refuse are burnt.

Barcelona's car-free smart city experiment

Superblocks is a radical plan to reclaim the streets from the noise and pollution of traffic, one that could save hundreds of lives that might otherwise be lost because of heavily polluted air. It also hopes to act as a blueprint for other cities.

Depression and suicide linked to air pollution

Five studies found that a 10µg/m3 increase in the average level of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution people were exposed to over long periods was associated with an approximately 10 percent increase in their odds of depression.

High cost of fossil fuel pollution on children's health

The study reports monetary estimates for the main children health problems that are consequences of early exposure to air pollution, 80 percent of which is attributable to burning of coal, oil, diesel and gas.

Too Much More Microplastic in the Ocean Than We Realized

If you pulled 1,000 liters of water out of the ocean, how many small bits of plastic would you expect to find? Ten pieces? One hundred pieces? 8.3 million pieces of what researchers call "mini-microplastic" is the finding of an alarming new study.

Reducing Air Pollution Saves Lives in Just Weeks

In the US,  a 13-month closure of a steel mill in Utah resulted in reducing hospitalizations for pneumonia, pleurisy, bronchitis and asthma by half. School absenteeism decreased by 40 percent, and daily mortality fell by 16 percent.

Indonesia is being contaminated by imported plastics

Researchers from the Sweden-based International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) have found that plastic waste shipped from Western countries is contaminating Indonesia's food supply.

Nanoparticles from air pollution go straight into brain

The discovery of abundant toxic nanoparticles from air pollution in human brains was made in 2016. A comprehensive global review earlier in 2019 concluded that air pollution may be damaging every organ and virtually every cell in the human body.

Aviation emissions' impacts on air quality larger than on climate

When you consider the full flight, which includes emissions from takeoff, cruise and landing, aircraft emissions are also responsible for around 16,000 premature deaths a year from impaired air quality. 

China's ultra low-emissions policy worked

  • 20 Oct 2019

 In 2014, China introduced an ambitious policy to rapidly reduce air pollution from coal-fired power stations. And now drops of over 70% in just three years leaves the country with much cleaner air.

Air pollution linked to risk of ′silent′ miscarriage

A big study examined the records of more than a quarter million pregnant women in Beijing from 2009 to 2017 in light of the womens' exposure to air pollution. Among the women 17,497 were found to have experienced silent miscarriages.

Ozone threat from climate change

Increasing temperatures due to climate change will shift climatic conditions, resulting in worse air quality by increasing the number of days with high concentrations of ozone, which has large negative impacts on health.