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EghtesadOnline: In February Tehranis had some relief with better air quality compared to the month last year, data from Tehran Air Quality Control Company shows.

Charts published on TAQCC website, airnow.tehran.ir show that in February, the capital breathed less polluted air. 

Bright blue skies were seen for almost one-fourth of the investigated period, as the air quality index was in 'good' condition for seven days. 

The index compartmentalizes conditions according to a measure of polluting matters into good (0-50), moderate (51-100), unhealthy for sensitive groups (101-150), unhealthy (151-200), very unhealthy (201-300) and hazardous (301-500), according to Financial Tribune.

Tehran saw 21 days of 'moderate' air quality, with the index swinging between 51 and 100.

TAQCC data showed that in February, sensitive groups in the capital breathed only 3 days of 'unhealthy' air as the index stood between 101 and 150. 

Children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, all of whom fall in the sensitive group, were advised to avoid prolonged outdoor exertion.

Pollutants measured to determine air quality include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ground-level ozone and particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10). AQI figures are calculated as per concentration of pollutants. 

Analyses illustrate that the pollutant responsible for the three moderate days recorded in the investigated period was PM2.5 (atmospheric particulate matters that have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers).

 

 

Ray of Hope 

Figures say the number of days with suffocating air pollution has declined in Tehran over the past few years, at least during the period under review.

February 2018 did not have a satisfying resume, as residents were blanketed in a cloud of smog for three consecutive days in the first week, with the index showing 'unhealthy' for all groups. 

During the month, sensitive residents faced unhealthy air conditions as pollution dominated TAQCC charts, pushing up the index between 100 and 150 for 13 days.

'Moderate' air condition was recorded for10 days in the month, with the AQI between 51 and 100. Only two days were recorded with 'good' air quality.

High concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 were key factor responsible for high AQI during the investigated period. 

Air quality was slightly better in February 2017 compared to the same month in 2018. At the time, the overcrowded metropolis saw only one day of good air.

But 'moderate' air quality was the most frequent condition, for the index stood between 51 and 100 for 21 days.

The rest of the month passed with air pollution forcing sensitive groups indoors for 6 days with the AQI between 101 and 150. 

Data shows that PM2.5 was responsible for the high AQI during the period.

Poor air quality has long been a danger for all urban residents in Iran causing over 12,000 pollution-related deaths in the fiscal that ended in March 2017.

Seemingly things are getting better at least in Tehran. This could either be thanks to nature's help or healing measures introduced by municipal bodies.

One of the latest measures is the air pollution reduction (APR) scheme which was implemented in the metropolis in November 2018.

As per the APR, dilapidated vehicles are banned from the roads and violators are fined. 

All four and two-wheelers must go for the mandatory technical inspections and acquire conformity cards showing that the vehicles are roadworthy.

 

Tehran Air Quality