People, Environment

Iran's Oxygen Market

Iran's Oxygen MarketIran's Oxygen Market

In times of trouble, there are always people who look to make a quick buck by exploiting the ignorance and gullibility of others.

The air pollution crisis in major Iranian cities has presented an opportunity for some to dupe anxious people into buying oxygen tanks, convincing them that they mitigate the effects of air pollution.

However, experts dismiss the claim as bogus, stressing that the tanks are not capable of preventing the inhalation of particles or reducing their adverse effects.

"Oxygen cylinders can help those whose bodies are not able to absorb enough oxygen from the air, but to claim that they can protect the body against air pollution is false, illogical and unscientific," said Dr. Rasoul Aliannejad, a pulmonologist, was quoted as saying by the Persian news website Fararu.

Promoted both online and through other outlets, many purchase them thinking they are protecting themselves and their loved ones against the impacts of poor air quality.

The market has grown and expanded so fast that the tanks are sold in several pharmacies as well. People with cardiovascular and pulmonary illnesses or children and elderly people who are more vulnerable to pollution are the main users of these products.

Aliannejad called on the public not to be tempted by advertisements and avoid being tricked by fraudsters.

Most of these tanks are rather small and cannot be used more than twice. The most commonly used brand that has been approved by the Iranian National Standards Organization is sold for 80,000 rials (approximately $2).

Air pollution has struck Iran's metropolises, particularly the capital, for several weeks and the atmospheric conditions and the authorities' short-term strategies have not made a noticeable difference. Tehran's all-too familiar smog happened more than a month earlier this year, leading to a longer period of low air quality.

Every year with the onset of winter, a phenomenon known as temperature inversion occurs during which cold air underpins warm air at higher altitude, leading to the entrapment of air pollutants in the city, which causes heavy smog.


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