No ‘Uranium’ Contaminants in Dust Storms

No ‘Uranium’ Contaminants in Dust StormsNo ‘Uranium’ Contaminants in Dust Storms

The presence of “uranium contaminated” particulates in dust storms will be determined after thorough investigations, and studies on the subject are still in the early stage, according to a Department of Environment (DoE) official.

“We know there are no uranium contaminated areas and emission of such particulates within the country, but certainly airborne particulates can enter from neighboring countries,” said Saeed Motesaddi.

At present, part of the dust storms originate within but “we do get dust storms from Iraq, Syria and Jordan; fortunately this year it has been less compared to the previous year,” he said quoted by IRNA.

“To know whether airborne particles from Iraq in particular are contaminated with depleted uranium or not, we should wait for the completion of the relevant study,” he said.

Till now the studies have proved that internal dust storms are not contaminated with dangerous pollutants or uranium, he stressed.

  Main Factors

The main reasons of dust emissions in the country are: reduction in precipitation, drought, and drying up of wetlands. Also some abandoned mines are contributing to release of pollutants since they have not been closed as per safety requirements, the official said.

Further, numerous buildings are being brought down as the lifespan of constructions in Tehran and other metropolitan cities has decreased considerably. Unplanned urbanization and increasing rate of land-use for high-rise constructions has resulted in environmental degradation and contributed to air pollution.

The DoE as custodian of the nation’s biodiversity and consequently people’s health, is trying to take corrective action through protective measures, he said.

In recent months in collaboration with the oil ministry, the DoE has removed petrochemical products which contain high levels of benzene from the fuel cycle.In Tehran, Karaj and Tabriz standard Euro-4 petrol is distributed and four other cities are to be supplied with such petrol by the end of December.