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EghtesadOnline: As part of a joint effort between Japan International Cooperation Agency and Tehran Municipality to reduce air pollution, decades-old air quality monitoring systems in the capital are to be replaced with new instruments from Japan.

As a major upgrade to the air quality control infrastructure in place for at least 15 years, modern instruments have been imported from Japan with JAICA’s assistance.

The new devices will be used for analyzing the emissions released in the air, categorizing them based on the type of pollutants, and identifying their sources in the metropolis that has more people and cars one could imagine, Asr-e Khodro reported. 

Worth $300,000, the instruments are part of contributions by JICA to Tehran Municipality, as per a memorandum of understanding signed in February, according to Financial Tribune.

According to the MoU, JICA agreed to provide $11.3 million worth of technical equipment to Iran in the form of a grant.

As part of the agreement, JICA will help TM launch a diesel engine emission test center for buses, minibuses, and trucks in Tehran.

Several other joint projects between JICA and TM are to be launched in the next two years, head of JICA office in Tehran Yukiharu Kobayashi earlier told reporters. 

Besides the air quality monitoring systems, portable emission measurement systems will be supplied for vehicles that use gasoline and CNG. A chemical analysis laboratory fitted with high-tech devices such as advanced microscopes will also be set up.   

Need for Accuracy

"Toxic chemicals have low concentrations but are very harmful to health… We need [to use] instruments that are capable of carrying out accurate measurements. This hasn’t been done so far in Iran," Kobayashi said.

The supply of air pollution monitoring equipment is one of JICA's two projects on the study of air pollutants in Tehran. The first started in July of last year and involved technical and scientific assistance to identify and classify emission sources. 

Kobayashi said the two projects are expected to proceed in tandem providing authorities the technical equipment and know-how to help address the unending challenges of air pollution. 

As the fourth leading cause of premature deaths worldwide, toxic air leads to heart disease and stroke, lung cancer and respiratory infections. According to a report released by the Iranian Legal Medicine Organization, during the fiscal that ended in March, some 12,000 air pollution-related deaths were reported  in Iran with one-third of the fatalities in the capital.


Tehran air pollution Tehran municipality Japan International Cooperation Agency JICA Air Quality Monitoring Systems