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Air Pollution Kills 35,000 In Iran Each Year


An Iranian woman wearing a mask in a street in Tehran, November 16, 2016.

Air pollution kills 35,000 people every year in Iran, an official at the Environmental Protection Organization has warned.

“Air pollution also kills 5,000 persons in Iran’s capital city, Tehran,” Mohammad Darvish, director-general of the organization’s office for education and popular cooperation, added.

In an interview with news website, Entekhab, Darvish said that while life expectancy in Iran is reportedly 79 years, “The latest statistics of the capital’s main cemetery show that the average age of people who died in the past nine months in Tehran is 49.”

The most important factor in air pollution, according to Darvish, is “excessive and unnecessary use of private vehicles.”

Darvish also claimed that air pollution plays a role in aggressiveness, obesity, cancer, mental disabilities, and gastrointestinal issues.

Air pollution, water shortages, and dust storms and their impact on the environment have seriously threatened large and small cities in recent years in Iran.

The Iranian media have repeatedly published alarming news and features about the unbelievably high level of air pollution in Iran’s metropolitan cities, including Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, and Ahvaz, as well as cities in Sistan and Baluchestan Province.

President Hassan Rouhani’s first deputy, Es'haq Jahangiri, while introducing the new head of the Environmental Protection Organization on August 14, said, “The environment is not a fanciful matter. We are confronting a water crisis and air pollution in mega cities, and we are also threatened by phenomena such as dust particles and drying-up ponds and wetlands.”

“We should swiftly start working to find a solution for the country’s main problems,” Jahangiri said.

According to the latest opinion polls, Jahangiri noted that “the environment has been singled out as one of the top four most important problems of the country.”

Although there are no reliable statistics available, according to Tehran City Council’s Committee for Environment head Mohammad Haqqani, “5,800 people fall victim to air pollution in Tehran” per year.

Meanwhile, an expert in genetic engineering, Qassem Ahangari, says air pollution impacts people’s neurological systems and may create aggressiveness.

Furthermore, Ahangari insists, air pollution has a negative impact on people’s genes.

The World Health Organization (WHO), in its 2016 report, ranked an Iranian city as the worst for air pollution in the world.

WHO said the world’s dirtiest air was in Zabol, located in restive Sistan-Baluchistan Province near the border with Afghanistan that suffers from months of dust storms in the summer.

The next four most polluted cities in the world were Indian: Gwalior, Allahabad, Patna, and Raipur.

“More than 80 percent of people living in urban areas that monitor air pollution are exposed to air-quality levels that exceed WHO limits. While all regions of the world are affected, populations in low-income cities are the most impacted,” WHO said.

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