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EghtesadOnline: Tehran residents had some relief with clean air and blue skies in March compared to the same month last year, data from Tehran Air Quality Control Company shows.

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

The air was clean with blue skies for almost half the month with the Air Quality Index in 'good' condition for 13 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 18 days of 'moderate' air quality, with the AQI swinging between 51 and 100.

TAQCC said in March sensitive groups in the capital were not warned against outdoor activities because the index did not reach the threshold of 'unhealthy' status (101-150).  

Children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, all of whom fall in the sensitive group, are usually advised to avoid prolonged outdoor exertion when the AQI hovers above 101.

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 the concentration of pollutants. 

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

 

Some Hope 

Figures show that the number of days with air pollution has declined in Tehran compared to the past year, at least during the period under review.

March 2018 did not have a stellar record as residents breathed fresh air for only one day with 'good' condition.

'Moderate' air dominated the TAQCC charts pushing up the index between 51 and 100 for 22 days. 

During the month, sensitive groups faced unhealthy air conditions for eight days with the AQI fluctuating between 100 and 150.

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

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

This March things were much better seemingly due to the measures introduced by municipal bodies in the sprawling capital. 

One is the air pollution reduction (APR) scheme launched in November 2018.

As per the APR dilapidated vehicles are banned 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.

The extended Norouz holidays (March 21 to April 2) has also helped curb air pollution during the period.

During the annual festival season many families travel in and outside the country. For this reason Tehran and other metropolises are much less crowded and consequently toxic emissions in the air declines significantly.

The blue skies, pleasant climate and clean air Tehran residents are enjoying these days is also the result of springtime showers washing off the pollutants from the air. 

 

Tehran Residents Air Quality Sunshine Blue Skies clean air