Air pollution perception in ten countries during the COVID-19 pandemic


As largely documented in the literature, the stark restrictions enforced worldwide in 2020 to curb the COVID-19 pandemic also curtailed the production of air pollutants to some extent. This study investigates the perception of the air pollution as assessed by individuals located in ten countries: Australia, Brazil, China, Ghana, India, Iran, Italy, Norway, South Africa and the USA. The perceptions towards air quality were evaluated by employing an online survey administered in May 2020. Participants (N = 9394) in the ten countries expressed their opinions according to a Likert-scale response. A reduction in pollutant concentration was clearly perceived, albeit to a different extent, by all populations. The survey participants located in India and Italy perceived the largest drop in the air pollution concentration; conversely, the smallest variation was perceived among Chinese and Norwegian respondents. Among all the demographic indicators considered, only gender proved to be statistically significant.



Air quality, COVID-19 pandemic, Environmental pollution, Pollution perception, Psychometric perception