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Tehran's Air Pollution Alarm Goes off Again.

Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian officials once again issued solemn warnings about the high level of air pollution in the capital city of Tehran, declaring that the level of sulfur dioxide in the city has even passed the level of the same pollutant in India and Bangladesh.

"Tehran is experiencing higher level of sulfur dioxide than India and Bangladesh," Director of Tehran's Air Quality Control Company (AQCC) Yousef Rashidi said on Monday.

Warning that Tehran's air pollution has exceeded the standard level, he regretted that the environmental standard of pollutants in exhaust in the capital city does not even meet the Euro-2 standard, while according to the international norms such pollutants should pass the codes specified in Euro-3 and Euro-4.

He criticized the officials in Tehran for lack of action in controlling sources of air pollution in the capital, saying they have not kept their words on upgrading 20 percent of the gas stations to the level of Euro-4.

"Samples recently taken from the filling stations indicate that they are far from the standard level," Rashidi complained.

He further pointed out that high purchase prices have cost Iran a lack of necessary tools and equipment to measure the level of certain pollutants.

According to the latest researches conducted by Tehran Municipality and Iran's Department of Environment (DOE), over 80% of Tehran's air pollution is caused by auto exhaust fumes.

A total number of 3.2 million cars, which are already on Tehran streets, are the largest source of air pollutants.

Automobiles produce at least 4,400 tons of air pollutants a day and 1.6 million tons a year in Tehran, a new study by AQCC showed.

Three main types of air pollutants are common smog-causing pollutants, air toxics and greenhouse gases.

And vehicles are the largest source of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides emissions and a significant source of tiny particles within Tehran. In addition, vehicles are a significant and chronic source of 'air toxics' (toxic substances in the air).

Drastic measures should be taken to improve the air quality in the capital city. And it's not quite as simple as just turning off the pollution tap, a reduction in car trafficking is also needed if one intends to conquer the filthy air conundrum.

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Publication:FARS News Agency
Date:Jan 18, 2010
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