Head of the Healthcare and Medical Education Ministry’s environment protection center Kazem Nadafi said that about 2700 people in Iran die each year because of heavy air pollution, ISNA reported.
Nadafi said that 2522 patients with cardiovascular diseases and 4525 people with respiratory diseases caused by air pollution are in hospitals now.
Referring to 70,000 old cars used in the country, he said that the amount of pollution they create equals the pollution caused by 2.1 million normal cars.
“If we could stop the use of old cars, the air pollution level would decrease by 30 percent.” Nadafi said.
He also called for the creation of online payments which would allow Iranians to pay for certain items and services online, omitting the need to go there by car and thus reducing the air pollution.
“If 40 percent of Iranians use such services, the air pollution in Tehran would drop by 12 percent,” Nadafi said.
The air over Iran’s capital is amongst the most polluted in the world, and experts say many Iranians suffer serious health problems as a result.
According to PSI Pollutant Standards Index, last year Iran had 147 days during which the air quality was substandard. Two years ago this number stood at 217 days.
The problem of Tehran’s air pollution has repeatedly forced the government to declare some days as holiday in the capital due to the high degree of pollution.
Tehran’s governor Seyyed Hossein Hashemi said earlier that the air pollution and the use of old cars are Tehran’s two main challenges and they need to be addressed as soon as possible.
Tehran’s pollution is mainly caused by the bumper-to-bumper traffic in a city wedged between two mountains that trap the fumes.
Motor vehicles account for 70 percent of pollution in the Iranian capital. Some experts and officials say the low quality of the gasoline and diesel fuels that are used is responsible for the heavy smog in Tehran.
Officials say all automakers should be committed to manufacturing vehicles that meet Euro-4 and Euro-5 standards.
Iran currently produces 14 million liters of Euro-4 and Euro-5 gasoline per day. The amount will reach 22 million once the RFCC unit of Shazand oil refinery comes on stream.Major Iranian cities also struggle with air pollution on a seasonal basis.
The fact that some other big cities like Isfahan, Mashhad, Arak, Karaj, Qom, Tabriz, and Ahvaz are facing a somewhat similar situation backs up this view.
Iran had previously implemented some regulations for tackling the problem of air pollution, but none of them worked.