‘Startups can raise public awareness on air quality’

January 22, 2019

TEHRAN – Startups can raise awareness of people about the importance of air quality, Reihaneh Vahidian, the assistant director of the Information Technology Organization of Iran, said.

Through using applications, which monitor air quality in different spaces, people try to reduce air pollution and demand for good air quality, she said.

“May be we should invite entrepreneurs to be active in this field, which may do not seem economical at the first glance. However, if the air quality becomes one of the key values for citizens, it can boost startups as well,” she explained.

She called the relation between startups and air quality monitoring as a win-win one, which lead to cultural and economic development.
“Although air quality is a national challenge but when it comes to sand and dust storms (SDSs) in the region it is turned into an international issue.”

Since the past decade, SDSs have become of increasing concern among countries of western Asia and Iran due to its vast damaging effects on human health, agricultural land, infrastructure, and transport.

She said some startups are indirectly influential on raising air quality awareness among the citizens.

“For example, the startups which sell indoor plants or those who encourage citizens to use recycled materials are appreciated,” she said.

She also pointed to a newly launched startup, which provides a system based on Internet of Things (IoT) for its bike sharing service.

Tehran is a metropolis and it is not possible to use bike as the only vehicle for transportation, she said.

“However, the startup provides an opportunity for people to use these smart bikes for short rides and continue their way with other public transportation vehicle.”
The most important role of the startups is raising people’s awareness about the environment and to remind them that some of their activities may increase air pollution, she said.

“Tehran Municipality and the Information Technology Organization of Iran have some further cooperation to provide technological infrastructure to boost bike riding in the capital.”

All citizens can be involved to improve air quality either as a startup founder or as a person who chooses bike riding for his or her personal healthcare as well as other issues, she said.

Air pollution control is a collective task. Tehran Municipality and other state-run organizations do the major part of the work; however, the citizens are also responsible for it, she concluded. 

According to ISNA news agency since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2018) Tehraners have breathed 17 days of excellent air quality and 237 days of good air quality. 

Based on the figures released by Tehran Air Quality Control Company last year in the same period the number of days with excellent air quality amounted to 12 and days of good air quality was 222 which indicates a 32-day increase in the number of excellent and good air quality. 
PM 2.5 and PM 10 particulate matters are the main pollutants in Tehran. 

PM10 is particulate matter 10 micrometers or less in diameter, PM2.5 is particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter. Particles in this size range make up a large proportion of dust that can be drawn deep into the lungs. Larger particles tend to be trapped in the nose, mouth or throat and cause respiratory, lung and even heart conditions. 

SB/MQ/MG

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