Tehran air pollution forces week-long school closure

TEHRAN: Schools in Iran’s Tehran province have been ordered shut until Friday due to severe air pollution, authorities announced, extending their closure to a full week.
Tehran city was cloaked by thick toxic smog for a third successive day on Monday that blanketed out landmarks like Milad Tower and the snow-capped Alborz mountains.
“All of Tehran province’s schools… except Firuzkuh and Damavand counties are closed for the week due to increasing air pollution,” governor Mohsen Bandpey told reporters.
He added that forecasts indicated stable weather and “increasing pollutant density” across urban areas.
Average airborne concentration of the finest and most hazardous particles (PM2.5) was at 147 microgrammes per cubic metre in the 24 hours to midday on Monday, according to government website air.tehran.ir.
That is close to six times the World Health Organization’s recommended maximum of 25 microgrammes per square metre.
Pollution worsens in Tehran during winter, when cold air and a lack of wind traps hazardous smog over the capital for days on end, a phenomenon known as thermal inversion. — AFP