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Potential Health Benefits of Sustained Air Quality Improvements in New York City

David Cooley and Elizabeth Shenaut, Abt Associates; Frederica Perera, Alique Berberian, Hollie Olmstead, Zev Ross, and Thomas Matte

Article

December 21, 2020

This study finds New York City’s three-month shutdown during COVID-19 could point the way toward saving thousands of lives and economic benefits up to $77 billion over five years through improved air quality. Neighborhoods with higher percentages of low-income residents or higher percentages of Black or Latinx residents likely would benefit more from the reduced particulate matter concentrations. The study itself is innovative because it also includes impacts on children and infants, cohorts that are typically left out of health benefits assessments of air pollution control and climate change mitigation strategies.