Call for cleaning Tehran of Clunkers

Around half a million cars in Tehran are threatening the wellbeing of 9 million people in the Iranian capital and not a thing is being done about it, according to the head of Tehran Air Quality Control Company.
“It looks like allowing old, poorly-maintained cars to roam the streets is more important than the health of millions of people,” Vahid Hosseini was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
He pointed to a government directive dating back five years that banned cars well past their usefulness from being used in Tehran, “but as you can see every day, they’re still being used.”
“If you’re not going to enforce directives, why do you go through the trouble of approving them in the first place?” Hosseini asked.
Outlining the impact of air pollution on human health, the official said low-quality air contributes to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
“The elderly and the children are most at risk from Tehran’s poor air quality,” he said.
Comparing polluting cars to killing machines, Hosseini said Tehranis are “being killed en masse” and old cars are the culprits.
“We have strict rules for curbing air pollution, such as subjecting cars to regular checkups and removing old vehicles from the streets, but they’re never enforced,” he said.
“It’s time we take responsibility and stood up.”
Around 80,000 people die prematurely every year in Iran, accounting for 21% of all deaths. Official statistics indicate that more than 4,400 people die annually in Tehran alone, meaning one person dies every two hours in the Iranian capital as a result of high pollution.
Last week, Hosseini said tests on Euro-4 gasoline distributed in Tehran have shown significantly high amounts of sulfur, a statement denied by Shahrokh Khosravani, the deputy head of National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company.

By Financial Tribune