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After Pakistan and Qatar, Iran is also climbing the ladder in the most Air Polluted country Chart

There has been always an arguable debate on the correlation between the suspended toxic particles and the neurological behavioral systems of our body. However, several pieces of research have concluded that several suspended particulate matter does have a deteriorating effect on our nervous system; including neurological complications and psychiatric disorders. Psychiatric disorders may induce aggression and anti-social behaviour, especially within the infants. In addition to these, several neuroinflammation complications also arise because of the interaction of the toxic gases in our bloodstreams, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

To this contrast, let me talk about air pollution in Iran, which has recently become a topic for all scientists to research on. Air pollution in Iran has engulfed its inhabitants causing several health problems and related allied neuro-psychiatric problems. According to a report published by WHO, the quality of air at Iran, especially at prime cities like Tehran is unhealthy with references to most of the pollution indices.  Pollutants like Carbon Monoxide and Particulate matter are nearly fifty times above the standard and safe limit values. The main sources of these pollutants are determined to be generated from engines which are dilapidated and are below the standards. In Tehran, more than 90% of the Carbon monoxide is liberated from motor vehicle emission. Furthermore, more than 80% of the air pollution in the country is compositely attributed to motor vehicles. Official reports claim that in Tehran, 9.4% of the cars, 22.1% of the vans and 4.7% of the taxis bear the maximum threshold for the causal of air pollution in the city. Around 9% of the vehicles in Tehran are responsible for the production of almost 400 tons pollutants annually.

Various unpublished data reveal that a motorcycle engine in Iran produces 60 times more Particulate Matter than produced by a standard car. According to these data, the annual average of air toxicants including Particulate Matter, SO2, NO2 and O3 in Tehran capital city of Iran with around 8.3 million inhabitants were 90.58, 89.16, 85, and 68.82 μg/m3, respectively, which are far above the standards as defined by EPA and WHO.  As a consequence, Iran experiences around 3194 deaths out the total 47284 in a year due to air pollution and its subsequent neurosomatic problems. According to a report published by the Iranian Pollution Control Board, SO2, NO2, and O3, respectively, have caused about additional 1458, 1050, and 819 cases of total mortality in 2011.

The World Bank has drafted that, in 2005, the mortality rate due to urban air pollution in Iran has led to a loss of around 640 million dollars annually which contributed to the 0.57% of the gross domestic products. The same report has also demonstrated that Iran is the world’s third reinforced polluted country in the world, which results in a 16 billion dollars annual loss for the country.

Although there are several programs including projects, researches and prototypes that has been developed to curb the air pollution in Iran, especially in Urban areas; the lack of government rules and strict laws towards the up gradation and standardization of new technologies in the scope of car engines and backdated energy production techniques have casted no significant development in reducing the air pollutants level.

By: Sayan Basak

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