According to SFGate Ahwaz Heavy industry and low-quality vehicle fuel are the main causes of air pollution in the desert city of 1.3 million.” Ahwaz’s particle pollution is more than 18 times the recommended WHO levels. In 2009, a large steel manufacturing plant opened close to the city. One study, published in MIT’s technology review, blamed the “unusual development and growth of the city, heavy industrial growth, oil exploration, heavy traffic” for Ahwaz’s pollution problems.
Air pollution can pose a serious health risk. Respiratory conditions, cancer, heart disease and other ailments are linked to air pollution. The World Health Organization estimates 1.34 million people died in 2008 from breathing in the tiny particles present in polluted outdoor air. In some parts of the world, air pollution is not only many times that of the recommended amount, but is getting worse. In some cities, air pollution is the worst it has ever been.
There are serious health consequences to air pollution. PM10 particles, or particles of 10 micrometers or less, enter the air and are breathed in by people. These particles eventually enter the bloodstream, where they can cause heart disease, lung cancer, asthma and acute lower respiratory infections. The WHO estimates 1.34 million people died in 2008 from breathing in tiny particles present in polluted outdoor air. This is up from 1.15 million deaths in 2004.