Heavy air pollution shuts schools in Iran

Heavy air pollution shuts schools in Iran

Iran shut primary schools in the capital and other parts of the country on Sunday due to choking levels of air pollution, New Vision reports.

Local authorities late Saturday announced the closure of all primary schools in the province of Tehran, which is home to 14 million residents, except in two towns. A blanket of smog has covered neighbourhoods in the capital in the past few days.

Airborne concentration of fine particles (PM2.5) hit 185 microgrammes per cubic metre in the south of Tehran and 174 in its centre on Sunday morning, local authorities said. That is far above the World Health Organization recommended maximum of 25 microgrammes per m3 over a 24-hour period.

Authorities also ordered mines and cement factories in Tehran province to close and reinforced regular traffic restrictions in the capital's centre. They called on the elderly, children, pregnant women and people with heart problems to stay indoors.