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Tehran air pollution worsens

Staff Writer |
Heavy pollution in Tehran is expected to persist up to December 22.

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"Low-speed wind, which has been forecast for the next few days, is not strong enough to clear the capital's sky and air pollution will most probably continue to shroud the city," Mohammad Rastegari, deputy for environmental monitoring at the Department of Environment, said.

Based on figures released by Iran Meteorological Organization, the capital's Air Quality Index reached 147 (three times the acceptable threshold of 50) on Sunday morning, which is unhealthy for sensitive groups of people.

This led to the closure of primary schools. On Monday, AQI reached 148. All school grades were shut down and cars whose plate numbers ended in odd numbers were banned from plying on city roads to help lessen the heavy smog enveloping Tehran.

"We are ready to form another emergency committee if IMO's figures show higher AQI for Tuesday to take remedial measures," he said.

Monday was the 61st day of above-average pollution in Tehran since the beginning of the current Iranian year (March 21).

It was also the 40th polluted day of the season (since Sept. 23) making it the most polluted autumn over the past four years.

Other metropolises including Karaj, Isfahan, Tabriz, Arak and Orumiyeh also experienced poor air quality this week that reached its top on Monday.

Schools in Tabriz and Orumiyeh were also closed due poor air quality that stood at 163 and 156 respectively.

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