Heavy air pollution caused by haze and dust particles in Iran’s southwestern city of Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, has surged to 60 times above safe levels, crossing the “hazardous” level, in which the entire population is likely to experience adverse health effects.
According to the latest data released by the Environmental Protection Organization of the province, the air quality index in Ahvaz on Tuesday showed 9,000 micrograms per cubic meter, indicating that the dust pollution is 60 times higher than the permitted level.
The air pollution in Mahshahr, Khuzestan, has also reached 2,101 micrograms per cubic meter, according to the data.
Last month, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei authorized the Iranian administration to withdraw a sum of $150 million from the National Development Fund for projects to tackle the heavy dust pollution in the country.
The order came as President Hassan Rouhani on January 22 ordered Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati and Head of Iran’s Environmental Protection Organization (IEPO) Isa Kalantari to pay a visit to the southwestern parts of the country to address the heavy dust pollution in the areas.
Kindergartens, schools and some organizations in many cities in Khuzestan have been closed down in recent weeks because of the heavy dust pollution.