Dust pollution reaches dangerous levels in SE Iran

Tasnim – Air pollution caused by haze and particles in Iran’s southeastern province of Kerman has reached hazardous levels, a provincial official said.

“Air conditions are still alarming in the cities of Kerman, Fahraj, and Rigan,” Reza Jazinizadeh, the head of Kerman province’s department of environment, told Tasnim on Sunday.

The concentration of fine dust in the province currently stands at 300 micrograms per cubic meter, while the normal volume of fine particles concentration is 150 micrograms per cubic meter, he added.

“Meanwhile, dust concentration in Fahraj has reached 500, around 5 times higher than the standard level,” Jazinizadeh said.

Schools across the cities will be closed down tomorrow if the hazardous level remains in place, he stated.

In recent years, sand and dust storms in parts of southwestern Iran have caused periodic closures of schools, government offices, and businesses, bringing life to a standstill for residents. Many also fear the impact on their health.

Sand and dust storms have increasingly plagued countries across the Middle East. Though the exact cause of the increase in storms is not known, accelerated dam construction and diversion of water resources for agriculture throughout the region is thought to be the main culprit. The problem is exacerbated by mother nature as well.