Iran closes schools, kindergartens in Tehran because of high pollution

The government closed all schools and kindergartens in Iran's capital city for two days beginning Tuesday because air pollution had reached dangerous levels. State television broadcast requests for people to stop driving to work in Tehran and to use the city's public transport system.

The television did not give the pollution level in Tehran, but it said the quantities of carbon monoxide, suspended particles and other pollutants had increased considerably in recent days. All kindergartens and schools will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday throughout Tehran and its suburbs, the broadcast said.

Tehran has been suffering from dangerous levels of pollution and smog since the beginning of the month. In the mornings, the sun has been barely visible owing to the city's smog.

Many residents with heart conditions and asthma have been admitted to hospital. At bus stops and newsstands, people speak to each other about itchy eyes and parched throats.

State radio and television broadcast hourly warnings Tuesday urging residents either to stay indoors or to use public transport instead of driving their cars. Most of the cars in Tehran are about 20 years old and lack modern exhaust filters. Newspaper reports say that about 70 percent of the air pollution stems from vehicles, reports the AP. I.L.

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