Temporal characteristics and health effects related to NO2, O3, and SO2 in an urban area of Iran

Faramarz Azimi, Fariba Hafezi, Mansour Ghaderpoori, Bahram Kamarehie, Mohammad Amin Karami, Armin Sorooshian, Abbas Norouzian Baghani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study reports on temporal variations of NO2, O3, and SO2 pollutants and their related health effects in urban air of Khorramabad, Iran using AirQ 2.2.3 software. Based on data between 2015 and 2021, hourly NO2, O3, and SO2 concentrations increase starting at 6:00 a.m. local time until 9:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. local time, respectively, before gradually decreasing. The highest monthly NO2, O3, and SO2 concentrations are observed in October, August, and September, respectively. Annual median NO2, O3, and SO2 concentrations range between 17 ppb and 38.8 ppb, 17.5 ppb–36.6 ppb, and ∼14 ppb–30.8 ppb, respectively. Two to 93 days and 17–156 days between 2015 and 2021 exhibit daily concentrations of NO2 and SO2 ≤ WHO AQGs, respectively, while 187–294 days have 8-h maximum O3 concentrations ≤ WHO AQGs. The mean excess mortality ascribed to respiratory mortality, cardiovascular mortality, hospital admissions for COPD, and acute myocardial infraction are 121, 603, 39, and 145 during 2015–2021, respectively. O3 is found to exert more significant health effects compared to SO2 and NO2, resulting in higher cardiovascular mortality. The gradual increase in NO2 and possibly O3 over the study period is suspected to be due to economic sanctions, while SO2 decreased due to regulatory activity. Sustainable control strategies such as improving fuel quality, promoting public transportation and vehicle retirement, applying subsidies for purchase of electric vehicles, and application of European emission standards on automobiles can help decrease target pollutant levels in ambient air of cities in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number123975
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
StatePublished - May 15 2024


  • AirQ
  • Health effect
  • NO
  • O
  • SO
  • air quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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