People, Environment

Abadan PM10 Critical

Abadan PM10 CriticalAbadan PM10 Critical

Concentration of PM10 (particulate matter with a diameter of 10 micrometers of less) in Abadan, Khuzestan Province reached 2,896 µg/m3 on Saturday — more than 19 times the acceptable daily limit.

The daily average for PM10 is 150 µg/m3.

Speaking to Mehr News Agency, Saeed Ebrahimian, head of the Abadan Meteorology Office, said the levels are unlikely to change much “due to strong winds that will continue to blow until Monday.”

Khuzestan has borne the brunt of dust storms that have been battering western and southwestern regions of Iran for years, culminating in last February’s days-long closure of public offices and schools.

Experts are of the opinion that most of the sources of dust storms, which have become more frequent and intense recently, are located in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria, but domestic sources, including desiccated wetlands such as Hoor al-Azim in Khuzestan and Hamouns in Sistan-Baluchestan, have exacerbated the problem.  

Iranian officials have called for an international effort to tackle the problem, but only Iraq has shown some interest in working toward that goal. The Saudis have no diplomatic ties with Tehran and even when they had the House of Saud apparently had no interest in environmental cooperation.

According to Ziaeddin Shoaei, head of the Department of Environment’s task force to combat dust storms, about $1.45 billion are needed to tackle the phenomenon once and for all, but the government lacks the financial resources to battle the crippling dust storms that have affected large parts of the country.