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Long bout of pollution expected in Tehran: Government dismisses fuel concerns


Source: Press TV

The Iranian capital Tehran and other large cities across the country are preparing for a full week of polluted days as the government insists gasoline pumped into the cars is low-emission and consistent with the latest European and international standards on environment protection. The official IRNA agency said that Air Quality Index (AQI), which quantifies the number of a tiny particulate matter in the air, stood at 119 on average for all neighborhoods of the metropolitan Tehran over 24-hour period ending 11:00 a.m. local time on Thursday.

Recommending the children and elderly to remain indoors, authorities said the AQI in Tehran would further rise over the weekend and may prompt closure of schools and other measures needed to improve the air quality.

Authorities closed down schools for three consecutive days beginning on Sunday after AQI reached levels deemed to be inappropriate for all groups of the population.

Air Quality Index (AQI)

The periodic bouts of smog blanketing large cities like Tehran have prompted debates in the media about the quality of the fuel used by motorists and weather the Oil Ministry had been correct earlier this year to claim that bulk of the gasoline produced in the country was Euro- IV grade and contained very low levels of sulfur.

The government, however, insists the thick layer of smog normally seen above Tehran and other cities at this time of the year is not a product of poor gasoline.

Tehran engulfed in heavily air pollution

Defending the government narrative, a subsidiary company of the Oil Ministry said on Thursday that it had actually gone past the Euro- IV gasoline and refineries across the country were pumping more than 55 million liters a day of Euro-VI grade of the fuel which is supposed to contain 10 parts per million (ppm) of sulfur, much lower than the 50 ppm standard in the Euro- IV.

Tehran engulfed in heavily air pollution

More to its credit, the NIORDC said all grades of gasoline produced in the country had become fully non-carcinogenic thanks to a national scheme to remove components like benzene from the fuel.

The Oil Ministry says that its high-end Euro- IV grade gasoline, with a ppm of 29, is now available in 18 major cities, including eight metropolises designated by the government to solely consume a fuel that should comply with highest environmental standards.

Iran, once a major importer of gasoline, currently produces more than 100 million liters a day of the fuel.

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