Annual and seasonal spatial models for nitrogen oxides in Tehran, Iran

Heresh Amini, Seyed Mahmood Taghavi-Shahri, Sarah B. Henderson, Vahid Hosseini, Hossein Hassankhany, Maryam Naderi, Solmaz Ahadi, Christian Schindler, Nino Künzli, Masud Yunesian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Very few land use regression (LUR) models have been developed for megacities in low- and middle-income countries, but such models are needed to facilitate epidemiologic research on air pollution. We developed annual and seasonal LUR models for ambient oxides of nitrogen (NO, NO2, and NOX) in the Middle Eastern city of Tehran, Iran, using 2010 data from 23 fixed monitoring stations. A novel systematic algorithm was developed for spatial modeling. The R 2 values for the LUR models ranged from 0.69 to 0.78 for NO, 0.64 to 0.75 for NO 2, and 0.61 to 0.79 for NOx. The most predictive variables were: distance to the traffic access control zone; distance to primary schools; green space; official areas; bridges; and slope. The annual average concentrations of all pollutants were high, approaching those reported for megacities in Asia. At 1000 randomly-selected locations the correlations between cooler and warmer season estimates were 0.64 for NO, 0.58 for NO X, and 0.30 for NO 2. Seasonal differences in spatial patterns of pollution are likely driven by differences in source contributions and meteorology. These models provide a basis for understanding long-term exposures and chronic health effects of air pollution in Tehran, where such research has been limited.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32970
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 13 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


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