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The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Environmental Health (Two Sides of the Same Coin): A Systematic Review

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 October 2023

Mehrdad Farrokhi
Health in Emergency and Disaster Research Center, Social Health Research Institute, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Hamidreza Khankeh
Health in Emergency and Disaster Research Center, Social Health Research Institute, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran Department of Clinical Science and Education, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
Mohammad Saatchi
Health in Emergency and Disaster Research Center, Social Health Research Institute, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Zoya Hadinejad
Health in Emergency and Disaster Research Center, Social Health Research Institute, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran Department of Education and Research, Emergency Medical Sciences, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran
Sadegh Ahmadi-Mazhin
Department of Public Health, School of Health, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
Yazdan Mohsenzadeh
Health in Emergency and Disaster Research Center, Social Health Research Institute, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran Department of Nurse Sciences, Faculty of Emergency Medicine, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran
Zahra Mehraein Nazdik
Health in Emergency and Disaster Research Center, Social Health Research Institute, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Javad Shojafard
Health in Emergency and Disaster Research Center, Social Health Research Institute, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Negar Pourvakhshoori
Department of Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran
Shokoufeh Ahmadi*
Health in Emergency and Disaster Research Center, Social Health Research Institute, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Corresponding author: Shokoufeh Ahmadi; Email:



The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019 has led to many changes such as reduced human activities and effects on the environment. There is no big picture of the effects of pandemics on the environment using related evidence.


This study was conducted to investigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on environmental health.


A systematic search of English language studies was performed in major electronic databases; Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, and Google scholar web search engine from December 2019 to February 2022. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) standard guidelines were used to follow up the review process. finally 58 articles entered the review procedure.


The results of indicate a significant reduction of air pollutants and improved air quality. It improved the water quality of some rivers, canals, and seas during the lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects of this disease on the environment cannot be fully described yet.


In the short term, the amount of air, water, and coastal pollution has been reduced. few studies have examined the effects of pandemics on the environment in the long run, which paves the way for more researches.

Systematic Review
© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health

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