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The loss of 5,000 lives a year due to exposure to pollution is the most tragic consequence of the disastrous phenomenon.
The loss of 5,000 lives a year due to exposure to pollution is the most tragic consequence of the disastrous phenomenon.

Little Improvement in Tehran Air Quality

To accelerate aid and medical services for possible victims of air pollution, six ambulances have been stationed in Rey, Enqelab, Azadi, Tajrish, Imam Hussein and Imam Khomeini squares since Dec. 24, and 30 motorbike ambulances are also positioned in high

Little Improvement in Tehran Air Quality

Iran’s Meteorological Organization says the capital’s air quality index (AQI) improved on Monday due to conditions associated with atmospheric instabilities, but the amelioration was only very slight and remained unhealthy for sensitive groups.
The AQI value was 149 on Sunday and 132 on Monday, which was unhealthy for children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with cardiovascular and respiratory ailments.
Rainfall and relatively strong winds and temperature rise that began early Sunday were expected to help scatter the pollutants and reduce the AQI. Kindergartens and primary schools that closed on Saturday due to the heavy pollution opened Sunday in spite of the unclean air.    
Consecutive days of dangerously high pollutant levels also led to an increase in the number of phone calls to the Tehran Emergency Center (TEC), the Persian-language newspaper ‘Etemad’ reported.
TEC received around 1,500 phone calls in relation to cardiovascular and respiratory problems, and over 400 respiratory patients were referred to hospitals, said Pir-Hussein Kolivand, head of TEC.
Due to the critical conditions, ambulances were put on full alert and stationed in the main squares of the capital.
“To accelerate aid and medical services for possible victims of air pollution, six ambulances have been stationed in Rey, Enqelab, Azadi, Tajrish, Imam Hussein and Imam Khomeini squares since Dec. 24, and 30 motorbike ambulances were also positioned in high-traffic locations from 9 am to 5 pm,” Kolivand was quoted as saying by Fars news Agency.
Sensitive groups were advised not to go out and use quality surgical masks in case of essential intercity trips. Those with chronic respiratory conditions were advised to carry their oxygen tanks and refer to the nearest emergency center or call 115 with the slightest sign of shortness of breath.

  Monumental Cost
The air pollution forecasting system was been launched by Tehran’s Air Quality Control Center to analyze the changing trends in pollution in the overcrowded capital.
“The system is not aimed at yielding a precise figure for that is not yet possible, but it can analyze the trends and predict if the air quality will be healthy or unhealthy for two consecutive days that follow,” said an expert at the TAQCC, adding that the emergency committee makes decisions based on data from this system.
Air pollution in metropolises has imposed monumental cost on society and the treasury. The loss of 5,000 lives a year due to exposure to pollution is the most tragic consequence of the disastrous phenomenon, not to mention the high and rising health costs to treat pollution-related conditions.
Based on a report by the World Bank, air pollution costs Iran 2.3% of its gross national production.
“Iran’s GNP was $997 billion in 2013 which means $23 billion is lost in Iran as a result of air pollution,” said Mohammad Reza Tabesh, head of the Majlis (parliament) Environment Commission.
He added that this amount could be spent to buy 20,000 metro coaches or create 900 parks with an area of 60 hectares, build 140 power plants and 60 stadiums with 50,000-seat capacity each.

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