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High level of dust pollution in Iran endangers lives of people — report

TEHRAN, Oct. 4 — High-level air pollution caused by the dust particles in Iran's western, southwestern, central and southeastern provinces has put the lives of people at high risks, Tasnim news agency reported on Monday.

The condition is alarming in the southeastern Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan as its air pollution levels have risen to nine times the limits, the report said.

Air condition in the country's southwestern province of Khuzestan has also been classified as unhealthy as dust pollution has exceeded safe limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO) .

In addition, central and western provinces of Isfahan and Kermanshah are among the polluted regions due to dust particles.

It is feared that the haze can reach other provinces of the country, including Tehran.

Over the past months, schools and universities have been shut down in the western border areas with Iraq due to the alarming dust pollution.

Iranian health officials and lawmakers have already been critical of alarming levels of the pollution which have raised health concerns.

Recently, Iran's Vice President and Head of Iran's Department of the Environment, Masoumeh Ebtekar, urged Iraq to tackle dust and haze pollution.

In a telephone conversation with the caretaker of Iraq's Ministry of Environment Jassim AbdulAziz Humadi, Ebtekar highlighted the negative effects of dust storms, which she said is originating from Iraq, and urged the neighboring country to settle the dust pollution.

The particles, carried by winds, can penetrate the lungs and enter the bloodstream, causing diseases such as lung cancer, asthma and heart problems. (PNA/Xinhua)

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