Pollution in Tehran: 6 ways to avoid breathing polluted air

Pollution in Tehran is an issue during winter months. The Iranian capital’s position nestled at the foot of the Alborz mountain range, heavy pollution and cold winter months causes what is known as the ‘inversion effect.’

In layman’s terms the pollution sits on the ground and with a limited wind coming from the west rests on the city like a blanket.

Pollution in Tehran
It is advised to avoid major roads when pollution is at its worst

Doctors suggest that when the pollution levels get bad that young children and elderly, as well as those with underlying critical medical conditions, avoid going outside for extending periods. For everyone else, the local authorities suggest against unnecessary travel.

Local media announced on December 16 that schools in the capital would be closed December 17 (today), we will update you if the following days are closed too.

Where does pollution come from?

It’s a complicated mix; there are several causes of pollution in Tehran. Most local media report that cars and motorcycles are significant contributors to the smog, as is commercial and industrial activities.

6 Tips That Help

  • Tip 1: Keep away from major roads, you can’t always see pollution, but scientists know it is concentrated on major roads and highways.
  • Tip 2: Walk alongside roads. You can immediately sense there is less pollution on side roads due to the lower volumes of traffic. So, it’s best to find a quiet alleyway with little traffic to make your way to your destination.
  • Tip 3: Watch out for hotspots of dirty air; for example, when cars are waiting at traffic lights pollution levels are as high as motorways. The pollution can back up in these areas, and you don’t want to breathe that.
  • Tip 4: Stand back at traffic lights. Evidence shows that the further you are away from the main road, the lower the amounts of pollution. Just wait where the air is that tiny bit cleaner.
  • Tip 5: If you’re on a hill, stick to the side where the vehicles are going down and not up!  It makes sense; nobody wants to have trucks and cars gearing up belching out pollution next to their faces.
  • Tip 6: According to medical studies, paper masks are somewhat useless. Yes, they may keep out the most significant particles of dust, but when it comes down to the much worse PM 2.5 particles, they have shown no benefit.

Other things you can do

Some companies offer air purifiers; however, according to research into this growing industry, not all air purifiers are created equally.

We suggest you do your homework before doling out a few million Toman on something that may just suck your electricity and not much else.

Are you interested in knowing more about Tehran, why not read more articles in this section?


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