People, Environment
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Air Quality Monitoring Systems to Go Online

The online system will enable real-time reporting of pollution indices.The online system will enable real-time reporting of pollution indices.

Online systems for monitoring air quality are to be launched in 24 stations across the country next week.

Currently, air quality monitoring stations in provincial capitals announce the average air quality index every 24 hours. In hazardous conditions, certain provinces release data on pollutants' concentration on an hourly basis.

The online system will enable real-time reporting of the indices, Mehr News Agency reported.  

"Under the present financial constraints, only 24 stations in metropolises are to be equipped with the system in what will be the first phase of the project," said Shina Ansari, director of the Comprehensive Monitoring Office at the Department of Environment. "We hope to equip other cities soon."

She added that the system will be installed in three stations of each major city. In Tehran, the stations at Imam Khomeini Square, Yaftabad and Eslamshahr will be equipped.

"When reported online, we will have instant access to the data at the headquarters and could upload the figures on the global air quality control website," Ansari said.

According to the official, the project was not implemented earlier because not all parts of the system were bought from the same manufacturer.

"There were parts purchased from Japanese and French companies, each working on a different protocol, which was not easy to integrate," she said.

Now, based on new guidelines, only systems of brands whose analyzing method is approved by the EPA (United States' Environment Protection Agency) and EA (United Kingdom's Environment Agency) can be purchased.  

Due to a lack of a standard analysis method employed by monitoring devices, inaccurate data were frequently released in major cities such as Isfahan.

Currently 190 air quality monitoring stations are active across the country. Over the past three years, 50 particulate matter analyzers have also been purchased.

In western provinces exposed to dust storms, systems capable of registering PM2.5 concentrations have been installed in counties as well as the provincial capitals.

"Besides provincial capitals, Darreh Shahr and Mehran in Ilam, Kouhdasht and Aligoudarz in Lorestan, Saqqez and Marivan in Kurdestan and Gachsaran in Kohgilouyeh-Boyerahmad have also been equipped with these systems," Ansari said.

The online data will also be accessible to the public on the international air quality control website (http://aqicn.org) as well as a domestic site that will be launched soon.

"People will be able to check the five air quality indices at any time in a city like Isfahan," she said.

The five indices include PM2.5, PM10, carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide.

 

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