Air pollution trends in Tehran, Iran, from 1988 to 1993 Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9z903335d

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  • Physical geography and topography combined with increasing number of motor vehicles have lead to record breaking air pollution levels in Tehran, the capital city of Iran. The objectives of this study were: 1) to document trends in Tehran, Iran's ambient air quality levels between 1988 and 1993; 2) to compare Tehran's air quality standards with the World Health Organization Standards; and 3) to discuss human health risks that may be associated with air pollution at these levels. Data used in this study were obtained from two sources, Iran's Environmental Protection Agency and the Ministry of Health. Tehran has five automated ambient air monitoring stations operated by Iran's EPA and MH, which are located in areas with heavy traffic. The contaminants monitored in these areas were: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, total suspended matter, and hydrocarbons. Daily samples were collected to provide 24 hours averages for each pollutant and every three month, mean concentrations were reported to Iran's EPA. Composite samples from all five stations were stored in a data bank operated by Iran's EPA. The ambient air quality standards set by the WHO were obtained from WHO publications (WHO, 1992). Statistical analysis of the data was carried out using a linear regression model, which was designed to fit the air pollution data and take into account missing data. From the available data it was concluded that there was a statistically significant (p<0.00, 90% CI) upward trend in air pollution levels in Tehran for all the measured pollutants except for NO2 during the years 1988 to 1993. It was also concluded that WHO guidelines were substantially exceeded by all pollutants except TSM. The data findings suggest that long term exposure to air pollutant levels that exceed WHO guidelines are likely to have come from motor vehicles and industrial sources. As the population growth continues, and increasing number of motor vehicles are driven in Tehran, there is concern for the health effects that may be caused from these pollutants. The results indicated that without a continuous air pollutant monitoring program in Tehran and pollution control strategies, the upward trend is expected to continue which may result in deterioration of the health of Tehran's residents.
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