Environmental houses, solar power plants launched to mark 'Clean Air Day'

January 12, 2022 - 16:47

TEHRAN – Several environmental houses and a solar power plant have been opened in Tehran on the occasion of National Clean Air Week, Shina Ansari, chief of environment and sustainable development at the Municipality of Tehran has announced.

Every year, January 19, is the National Clean Air Day in Iran in order to remind and highlight the main factors in maintaining air quality, as well as promoting a sense of responsibility and citizen participation in protecting the urban environment and fulfilling social responsibility for the environment.

This year, Clean Air Week will be held from January 15 to February 1, with the theme of “Clean Air, Public Rights, National Will”.

Keeping the environment clean to maintain the health of all living creatures and improve the quality of human life as well as having better tomorrows for future generations are our main tasks, she emphasized.

Involving citizens in environmental protection is one of the main approaches of National Clean Air Week. To this end, special training booths will be set up to inform citizens about clean air issues and make them aware of their civic and social responsibilities, she explained.

Opening “environmental houses”; holding entertainment events and competitions related to the subject of children, adolescents, and adults; holding conferences, workshops, and online educational webinars by experts, professors, and environmental centers; planting native and climate-friendly seedlings, and setting up car engines free of charge by volunteer repair shops, are among other activities to be carried out this week in all 22 districts.

Referring to the operation of a solar power plant in District 20, she stated that “Using renewable energy is a good solution to overcome environmental problems such as air pollution and Tehran has a significant capacity to use this type of energy.”

Abbas Shahsavani, head of the air and climate change department of the Ministry of Health, said in November 2021 that expenses related to deaths attributed to air pollution are estimated at $4.3 billion over the past Iranian calendar year (March 2020-March 2021).

About 10 percent of deaths are caused by air pollution nationwide.

Air pollution is responsible for around 40,000 premature deaths in Iran annually, Mohammad- Sadeq Hassanvand, head of the air pollution research center at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, said in July 2020.

Air pollution kills 7m people worldwide

Air pollution is the contamination of the indoor or outdoor environment by any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere. Household combustion devices, motor vehicles, industrial facilities, and forest fires are common sources of air pollution. Pollutants of major public health concern include particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. Outdoor and indoor air pollution cause respiratory and other diseases and is an important source of morbidity and mortality.

Air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year. WHO data shows that almost all of the global population (99%) breathe air that exceeds WHO guideline limits containing high levels of pollutants, with low- and middle-income countries suffering from the highest exposures.

From smog hanging over cities to smoke inside the home, air pollution poses a major threat to health and climate. The combined effects of ambient (outdoor) and household air pollution cause millions of premature deaths every year, largely as a result of increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections.

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