First Published: 2017-12-17

Iran's schools suffocate in smog
Choking levels of air pollution saw primary schools shut across country as smog levels go far above WHO recommended maximum.
Middle East Online

Airborne concentration of fine particles (PM2.5) hit 185 microgrammes per cubic metre in the south of Tehran

TEHRAN- Iran shut primary schools in the capital and other parts of the country on Sunday due to choking levels of air pollution.

Local authorities late Saturday announced the closure of all primary schools in the province of Tehran, which is home to 14 million residents, except in two towns.

A blanket of smog has covered neighbourhoods in the capital in the past few days.

Airborne concentration of fine particles (PM2.5) hit 185 microgrammes per cubic metre in the south of Tehran and 174 in its centre on Sunday morning, local authorities said.

That is far above the World Health Organization recommended maximum of 25 microgrammes per m3 over a 24-hour period.

Authorities also ordered mines and cement factories in Tehran province to close and reinforced regular traffic restrictions in the capital's centre.

They called on the elderly, children, pregnant women and people with heart problems to stay indoors.

In the northwestern cities of Tabriz and Urmia, schools remained closed for the second day straight on Sunday, official news agency IRNA said.

Every year, Tehran suffers some of the worst pollution in the world when cool temperatures cause an effect known as "temperature inversion".

The phenomenon creates a layer of warm air above the city that traps pollution from more than eight million cars and motorbikes.

In 2014, almost 400 people were hospitalised with heart and respiratory problems caused by pollution in Tehran. Nearly 1,500 others required treatment.

The health ministry estimated that pollution in 2012 contributed to the premature deaths of 4,500 people in Tehran and about 80,000 across the country.

 

Yemen Huthi political leader killed in coalition raid

Iran, Israel trade blame for surge in hostilities over Syria

HRW warns Egypt fight against IS threatens humanitarian crisis

Russia says no decision yet on delivery of S-300 missiles to Syria

Can Arab satellite TV catch up with social media?

Syria security chief refuses Lebanon court appearance

Air raid kills dozens at Yemen wedding

Algeria draws Europe’s ire by cutting imports, boosting trade with China

French MPs adopt controversial immigration bill

Qatar Airways ‘robust’ despite large losses

IS threatens to attack Iraqi polling station

Jordan sounds the alarm over rising online crimes

Yemen forces clash with jihadists in Taez

Paris attacks suspect gets 20 years over Brussels shootout

Jailed Egyptian photographer wins UN press freedom prize

14 Saddam-era officials still jailed in Iraq

Gaza death toll rises to 40 as Palestinian dies of wounds

HRW says African migrants face rape, torture in Yemen

Four British pilgrims killed in Saudi road crash

Iran vows to resume enrichment if US quits nuclear deal

UAE accuses Qatari jets of ‘chasing’ passenger flight

Israel rubbishes claims Mossad behind Malaysia assassination

Syrian refugees are not going home anytime soon

Resumption of direct flights from Moscow brings hope to Egypt’s tourism sector

Saudi finalises drone regulation after security alarm

Will Lebanon have more women MPs after May 6 poll?

Saudi shoots down ‘toy drone’

Mass grave discovered under Raqa football pitch

UN Security Council meets over Syria in Sweden

Turkish government rejects criticism of election campaign

Condemnation after Gaza teenager killed by Israeli soldiers

Syrian rebels agree to leave new area outside Damascus

Rouhani slams officials' 'vow of silence' in face of protests

Family accuses Israel of killing Palestinian in Malaysia

Natalie Portman says backed out of Israel prize over Netanyahu

Morocco, EU start talks on new fisheries deal

FIFA to return to Morocco to check hotels, stadiums

Turkey in shock after violent Istanbul derby

Iraq pays first war reparations to Kuwait since 2014

Fiery kites adopted as new tactic by Gaza protesters

Romanian president slams plan to move Israel embassy

Western strikes on Syria bring no change whatsoever

Trump criticises OPEC for high oil prices

Syria says rebels south of capital surrender

Market has capacity to absorb higher oil prices: Saudi minister