Special Issue on COVID-19 Aerosol Drivers, Impacts and Mitigation (IV)

Parya Broomandi1,6, Ferhat Karaca1,2, Amirhossein Nikfal3, Ali Jahanbakhshi4, Mahsa Tamjidi5, Jong Ryeol Kim This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1

1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nazarbayev University, Nur-Sultan 010000, Kazakhstan
2 The Environment and Resource Efficiency Cluster (EREC), Nazarbayev University, Nur-Sultan 010000, Kazakhstan
3 Atmospheric Science and Meteorological Research Center, Tehran, Iran
4 Environmental Center, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, United Kingdom

5 Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch of Tehran, Iran
6 Department of Chemical Engineering, Masjed-Soleiman Branch, Islamic Azad University, Masjed-Soleiman, Iran


Received: May 7, 2020
Revised: June 25, 2020
Accepted: June 27, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.05.0205 

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Cite this article:

Broomandi, P., Karaca, F., Nikfal, A., Jahanbakhshi, A., Tamjidi, M. and Kim, J.R. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 Event on the Air Quality in Iran. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 1793–1804. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.05.0205


  • The air quality in Iran was improved by COVID-19 in the short term.
  • In Iran, the overall reductions in SO2 and NO2 levels were decreased.
  • In Tehran, the primary pollutants concentrations were decreased.
  • In contrast, the Ozone and PM2.5 concentrations were increased in Tehran.


The first novel coronavirus case was confirmed in Iran in mid-February 2020. This followed by the enforcement of lockdown to tackle this contagious disease. This study aims to examine the potential effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on air quality in Iran. From 21st March to 21st April in 2019 and 2020, The Data were gathered from 12 air quality stations to analyse six criteria pollutants, namely O3, NO2, SO2, CO, PM10, and PM2.5. Due to the lack of ground-level measurements, using satellite data equipped us to assess changes in air quality during the study on Iranian megacities, especially in Tehran, i.e., the capital of Iran. In this city, concentrations of primary pollutants (SO2 5–28%, NO2 1–33%, CO 5–41%, PM10 1.4–30%) decreased with spatial variations. Although, still SO2, NO2, and PM10 exceeded the WHO daily limit levels for 31 days, 31 days, and four days, respectively. Conversely, O3 and PM2.5 increased by 0.5–103% and 2–50%. In terms of the national air quality, SO2 and NO2 levels decreased while AOD increased during the lockdown. Unfavourable meteorological conditions hindered pollutant dispersion. Moreover, reductions in the height of planetary boundary layer and rainfall were observed during the lockdown period. Despite the adverse weather conditions, a decrease in primary pollutant levels, confirms the possible improvements on the air quality in Iran.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Atmospheric pollution; Lockdown; Tehran; Nitrogen dioxide; Carbon monoxide.

Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20:1793-1804. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2020.05.0205 

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