People, Environment

Pollutants in Dust Storms?

Pollutants in Dust Storms?Pollutants in Dust Storms?

Contrary to what some researchers say, dust and sand storms that originate in Iraq and batter Iran’s western provinces do not contain heavy metals and organic pollutants, the head of the Center for Regional Research on Particulate Matter said. Speaking to ILNA, Alireza Zarasvandi, who is a faculty member at Shahid Chamran University in Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, said his team has been studying dust storms from Iraq for six years.  “Rumors (about the presence of heavy metals and organic pollutants) are baseless. People can rest assured that the sand storms don’t contain any of those chemicals,” he said. This is while some studies point to the exact opposite. One study led by Meqdad Pirsaheb of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, in which the concentration of pollutants in dust storms hitting Kermanshah Province was measured between 2005 and 2011, found that heavy metals except mercury were found in concentrations higher than the standards set by the World Health Organization and US Environmental Protection Agency.