Tehran Smog Alarms Authorities
Air pollution in Tehran, one of the most polluted cities in the world, reached a "very unfavorable" level on Sunday and things are only expected to get worse, an Iranian meteorological organization said.
The organization said particle counts in the capital's air were very high and advised those with respiratory and heart problems, the elderly and children as well as pregnant women to stay indoors, reported the official Iranian news agency, IRNA.
Some 4,600 people in Tehran die every year from pollution-related illnesses, according to official statistics. Much of the pollution is blamed on dilapidated cars, which jam the city's highways and streets, very few of which are equipped to use lead-free petrol.
Roughly two million cars, burning 10 million liters of fuel each day, commute on the city's streets.
Out of every 100 families in the city of 12 million, some 42 have cars and more than 92 percent use them for work commuting or other trips.
The city is tucked away among mountains, which slows the circulation of air.
Tehran Mayor Morteza Alviri said in January that the capital accounted for 25 percent of Iran's total industrial pollution, which totals over 495,000 tons of pollutants every year.
Last year, the government launched a 10-year plan to combat pollution that included phasing out old vehicles. Most cars in Iran are more than 20 years old and lack the more efficient exhaust filters of newer vehicles – Albawaba.com
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