Tehran schools ordered shut over air pollution

Nov 10, 2013
A view of Tehran taken from a vantage point in the east of Tehran shows the metropolitan capital covered in smog on June 26, 2013

Air pollution has forced Iranian authorities to close elementary schools and kindergartens in Tehran province for three days from Sunday, the state broadcaster said.

Schools had already been closed due to pollution on Sunday, while were to shorten working hours on Monday and Tuesday as pollution has reached alarming levels.

Sunday's decision to extend the school closure for more two days was made by a crisis committee on , the broadcaster said.

In addition, alternate-day driving restrictions had been imposed for private vehicles based on plate numbers, it said.

A constant woe for the eight million residents of the Iranian capital, pollution is blamed on bumper-to-bumper traffic and factories in the vicinity of the city wedged between two mountains, thus trapping fumes.

The is also exacerbated by reliance on domestic production of petrol of a lower quality, and therefore more polluting, a byproduct of Western sanctions on Iran's fuel imports.

Efforts by officials to boost public transport, including extending the metro and establishing lanes for buses only, have barely dented the problem because of the growing number of cars, many of which are old and inefficient.

With four of its cities among the world's 10 most polluted, other parts of the country also struggle with pollution.

In 2012, air pollution contributed to nearly 4,500 premature deaths in Tehran alone and nearly 80,000 across the country, according to figures by the health ministry.

Dozens of people were hospitalised last week in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, and thousands rushed to get medical assistance as reached dangerous levels.

One of the most polluted cities in the world, Ahvaz is located in oil-rich southwestern province of Khuzestan.

Explore further: Should the role of afforestation in climate change mitigation policy be re-evaluated?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Tehran governor orders shutdown over pollution

Jan 03, 2013

Schools, universities and government offices in the Iranian capital will be closed on Saturday for the second time in a month because of high air pollution, Tehran governor Morteza Tamadon said Thursday.

Chinese city blanketed in heavy pollution

Oct 21, 2013

Choking clouds of pollution blanketed a Chinese city famed for its annual ice festival Monday, reports said, cutting visibility to 10 metres (33 feet) and underscoring the nation's environmental challenges.

Air pollution in Beijing reaches hazardous levels

Jan 12, 2013

Air pollution levels in China's notoriously dirty capital were at dangerous levels Saturday, with cloudy skies blocking out visibility and warnings issued for people to remain indoors.

Recommended for you

US northeast braces for flooding after record snow

13 hours ago

Weather forecasters and emergency officials warned Sunday that melting snow would lead to heavy flooding in parts of the US northeast, with hundreds of thousands of people told to brace for fast-rising waters.

3Qs: Game theory and global climate talks

Nov 21, 2014

Last week, China and the United States announced an ambitious climate agreement aimed at reducing carbon emissions in both countries, a pledge that marks the first time that China has agreed to stop its growing emissions. ...

From hurricanes to drought, LatAm's volatile climate

Nov 21, 2014

Sixteen years ago, Teodoro Acuna Zavala lost nearly everything when Hurricane Mitch ravaged his fields, pouring 10 days of torrential rains on Central America and killing more than 9,000 people.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.