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|Air pollution level
|Air quality index
| 35* US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Qom is currently 1.7 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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Good 35 AQI US
|Wednesday, Feb 28
Good 20 AQI US
|Thursday, Feb 29
Good 30 AQI US
|Friday, Mar 1
Good 19 AQI US
|Saturday, Mar 2
Good 25 AQI US
|Sunday, Mar 3
Good 27 AQI US
|Monday, Mar 4
Moderate 63 AQI US
|Tuesday, Mar 5
Moderate 74 AQI US
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Qom [also spelled as "Ghom"] is the seventh largest metropolis and also the seventh largest city in Iran. Qom is the capital of the province of the same name. It is located 140 kilometres south of the capital, Tehran on the banks of the Qom River. According to a census which was conducted in 2016, Qom had an estimated population of approximately 1.2 million people.
During September 2021, Qom was experiencing a period of “Moderate” air quality with a US AQI reading of 61. This United States Air Quality Index number is calculated by collecting data from the six most commonly occurring air pollutants which are usually; nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and both sizes of particulate matter, which are PM2.5 and PM10. This can then be used in comparison when studying other cities from any location. If not all six figures are available, a figure can still be calculated by using what data there is. For Qom there were all six pollutants recorded which were: PM2.5 - 17 µg/m³, PM10 - 41.8 µg/m³, ozone (O3) - 47.5 µg/m³, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - 64.2 µg/m³, sulphur dioxide (SO2) - 20.2 µg/m³ and carbon monoxide (CO) - 721.4 µg/m³. It can be seen that the level of PM2.5 is over one and a half times above the limit of 10 µg/m³ which is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), although no amount of air pollution is safe. With pollution at this level, the advice would be to close doors and windows to prevent the ingress of more polluted air. Those who are sensitive to poor air quality should try to remain indoors as much as possible until the air quality improves. If they do need to venture outside then a good quality mask should be worn at all times. For up-to-date information as to the state of the air, there is a downloadable app from AirVisual which is available for all operating systems.
Air quality can be affected by many things but mainly from both atmospheric and meteorological.
Looking at the figures for 2020, published by IQAir.com it can easily be seen that December was the month with the worst quality air. The reading was 38.8 µg/m³ which placed it in the “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” category. Any figure between 35.5 and 55.4 µg/m³ qualifies as such. Most of the year saw “Moderate” air quality with figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. This was for January and February and again from the start of May until the end of November. The remaining two months of March and April saw “Good” quality air in April with a figure of 11.2 µg/m³. March achieved the target figure as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of 10 µg/m³ or less. The actual reading was 8.4 µg/m³.
Records for air quality were not kept before 2020 when the annual average reading was 20.3 µg/m³ which would be classed as being “Moderate”. This figure coincided with the continuing COVID-19 pandemic when many vehicles were no longer in daily use in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus. Many factories and non-essential production units were also required to close which removed their emissions from the atmosphere and therefore, most cities revealed very good figures for air quality.
Qom air pollution, like other metropolises in different seasons of the year, has several causes, in summer there is a problem of dust and dust in Qom that causes air pollution, drought, environmental water cuts, uncontrolled groundwater abstraction, and problems that have existed for years and have increased in recent decades make the summer with the least winds from the east. Qom province dust enters the city and causes air pollution.
In the cold seasons of the year, the problem of metropolises is the pollution of moving and fixed air sources such as factories and vehicles. Due to the inversion of air, polluted air settles in the city and is polluted due to lack of wind. If there is wind, it will move the air and reduce air pollution.
In Qom metropolis, because it has an open area and like Tehran and Arak, which do not have a mountain around the city, we have a better situation, but we see carbon dioxide in Qom, especially on days when there is traffic, carbon dioxode increases.
Citizens should use public transport as much as possible to reduce air pollution in the cold seasons of the year, because the more citizens use private cars, the more air pollution in the city and the more polluted air.
Another important issue is air pollution by Qom Combined Cycle Power Plant, which is an important part of the constant pollution in Qom because of this combined cycle power plant. It has been suggested that natural gas be provided to this power plant in winter because gas consumption in winter is increasing in the country and the amount of natural gas allocated to Qom Combined Cycle Power Plant is decreasing. The use of diesel in the combined cycle power plant instead of gas has a lot of pollution that the authorities should try to allocate more natural gas to this power station.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) "urban air pollution increases the risk of suffering from acute respiratory diseases, such as pneumonia and chronic diseases, such as lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases." Air pollution affects us both short- and long - term side effects, those who are more likely to suffer from them are children, the elderly and people suffering illness.
People who die annually from the secondary effects of urban air pollution amount to more than 1.3 million people, of these deaths, more than half occur in developed countries, since, people who reside in cities with high level of air pollution suffer more heart disease, respiratory problems, lung cancers and allergies.
It should not be forgotten that the polluted air is not only external, but also indoor smoke represents a serious health risk, biomass and coal are highly polluting, therefore, those neighbouring communities, private homes or companies need to be aware. Those who use this type of fuel to warm themselves in winter are highly exposed to its secondary effects.