Special Issue "Environmental Implications of COVID-19 Pandemic"

A special issue of Environments (ISSN 2076-3298).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Hynek Roubík
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sustainable Technologies, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 00 Prague, Czech Republic
Interests: environmental technologies and methodologies; environmental protection and pollution prevention; environmental modeling and technology; environmental management and policy; environmental impact and risk assessment or Environmental analysis and monitoring

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis that affects everyone; therefore, we decided to provide space for identifying global environmental challenges resulting from this crisis. The worldwide disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is leading to numerous impacts on the environment. Those effects may have both positive and negative consequences. However, all of those need to be systematically and empirically described.

Therefore, it is essential to provide space for research on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these implications will have short-term and immediate effects, some will have medium-term effects, and there will be some that create long-term changes. We expect authors to address environmental implications at local, national, or global scales.

For these reasons, we invite contributions from various backgrounds. An interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary approach is encouraged and highly welcome.

Dr. Hynek Roubík
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Environments is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • environmental management and sustainability
  • environmental implications
  • environment and sustainability
  • environmental economics
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • COVID-19 recovery strategies

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Article
Evaluating the Environmental Impacts of Personal Protective Equipment Use by the General Population during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Study of Lombardy (Northern Italy)
Environments 2021, 8(4), 33; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/environments8040033 - 15 Apr 2021
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Abstract
The diffusion of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) impacted the whole world, changing the life habits of billions of people. These changes caused an abundant increase in personal protective equipment (PPE, e.g., masks and gloves) use by the general population, which can become a concerning [...] Read more.
The diffusion of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) impacted the whole world, changing the life habits of billions of people. These changes caused an abundant increase in personal protective equipment (PPE, e.g., masks and gloves) use by the general population, which can become a concerning issue of plastic pollution. This study aims to evaluate the negative effects of the abundant PPE use following the COVID-19 diffusion using the test site of the Lombardy region, an area highly affected by the pandemic. Population data were retrieved from national databases, and the COVID-19 national guidelines were considered to estimate the total use of PPEs during 2020. Then, the quantity of waste derived from their use was evaluated based on the weight of PPEs. As well, possible scenarios for 2021 were proposed based on 2020 estimations. The results suggested different negative effects of the diffusion of PPEs both on waste management and on the environment: The abundant increase in PPEs-derived waste caused an increase in terms of costs for management, and the potential direct spreading in the environment of these materials (especially masks) poses a serious threat for an increase in microplastics in water bodies. Following this evaluation, a careful choice regarding COVID-19 measures of containment should be performed especially by the general population, avoiding contagion diffusion and reducing the possible environmental impact derived from disposable PPE use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Implications of COVID-19 Pandemic)
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Review

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Review
COVID-19 and the Environment, Review and Analysis
Environments 2021, 8(5), 42; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/environments8050042 - 11 May 2021
Viewed by 755
Abstract
We reviewed studies linking COVID-19 cases and deaths with the environment, focusing on relationships with air pollution. We found both short- and long-term observational relationships with a range of regulated pollutants, although only two studies considered both cases (i.e., infections) and deaths within [...] Read more.
We reviewed studies linking COVID-19 cases and deaths with the environment, focusing on relationships with air pollution. We found both short- and long-term observational relationships with a range of regulated pollutants, although only two studies considered both cases (i.e., infections) and deaths within a common analytical framework. Most of these studies were limited to a few months of the pandemic period. Statistically significant relationships were found more often for PM2.5 and NO2 than for other regulated pollutants, but no rationale was suggested for such short-term relationships; latency was seldom considered for long-term relationships. It was also unclear whether confounding had been adequately controlled in either type of study. Studies of air quality improvement following lockdowns found more robust relationships with local (CO, NO2) rather than regional (PM2.5, O3) pollutants, but meteorological confounding was seldom considered. Only one of seven studies of airborne virus transmission reported actual measurements. Overall, we found the existing body of literature to be more suggestive than definitive. Due to these various deficiencies, we assembled a new state-level database of cumulative COVID-19 cases and deaths through March 2021 with a range of potential predictor variables and performed linear regression analyses on various combinations. As single predictors, we found significant (p < 0.05) relationships between cumulative cases and household crowding (+), education (−), face-mask usage (−), or voting Republican (+). For cumulative deaths, we found significant relationships with education (−), black race (+), or previous levels of PM2.5 (+). NOx (+), and elemental carbon (EC, +). We found no relationships between long-term air quality and cumulative COVID-19 cases. Our associations linking air pollution with COVID-19 mortality were not statistically different from those for all-cause mortality in previous studies. In multiple mortality regressions combining air pollution, race, and education, NOx and EC remained significant but PM2.5 did not. We concluded that the current worldwide emphasis on PM2.5 is misplaced. We predicted air pollutant effects of a few percentage points, but individual differences between races, political identification, and post-graduate education were of the order of factors of 2 to 4. In general, the factors predicting infection were personal and related to COVID-19 exposure, while those predicting subsequent mortality tended to be more situational and related to geography. Overall, we concluded that how you live is more important than where you live. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Implications of COVID-19 Pandemic)
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