Official: Air pollution killed 21,000 Iranians last year

Some 21,000 people in 27 cities across Iran lost their lives due to air pollution, with 6,000 of the deaths in the capital Tehran, according to Iran’s National Air and Climate Change Center.

Dariush Gol’alizadeh, the head of the center told a news conference that dust and sand storms originating from neighboring countries have been the main culprits in polluting major cities in Iran this year.

Tehran has had 90 days of non-clean days so far this year, which started on March 21, compared to 30 days during the entire last year and 40 days the year before, according to Gol’alizadeh.

He added the pollution caused an $11-billion loss for the country, raising the alarm that swift measures need to be taken to reverse the trend.

Gol’alizadeh also blamed low-quality gasoline and dilapidated automobiles, which need to be replaced with new ones, for the pollution.

Many Iranian cities, including the capital Tehran, surrounded by mountains, suffer some of the worst air pollution in the world throughout the year, with the pollution reaching levels considered unsafe for all groups of people during many days.

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