Tehran air pollution puts nearly 400 in hospital

TEHRAN, Iran — Almost 400 people have been hospitalized with heart and respiratory problems caused by heavy air pollution in Tehran, with nearly 1,500 others requiring treatment, an official said Tuesday.

Year round, more than four million cars spew exhaust fumes into the atmosphere of the Iranian capital. The situation worsens in winter, when cold air leads to a carcinogenic fog that blankets the city.

The latest casualties were treated Monday, according to Hassan Abbas, an emergency services manager quoted by the official IRNA news agency.

“Some 392 people were admitted to hospital due to respiratory and heart problems,” he said. “We treated another 1,434 externally.”

Authorities are said to be considering school closures and the introduction of traffic restrictions for the whole capital Wednesday, although this has not yet been officially confirmed.

However, the sick and elderly have been asked to avoid city traffic due to the effects of breathing in a noxious mix of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and dirty rubber particles…

The perfect Islamic Republic is as elusive as the perfect Communist state.