Strange Chlorine Gas Smell Takes Over Tel Aviv

smog cairoTel Aviv’s mysterious gas smell is nothing compared to Cairo’s annual “black cloud”.

Tel Aviv is Israel’s largest city, and at times has been so saturated by car exhaust air pollution environmentalists have sometimes said that people run a serious risk of brain damage if they ride their bicycles there during heavy air pollution days. While perhaps not as polluted as other regional cities such as Teheran, Iran  and during “black cloud” days in Cairo Egypt, Tel Aviv certainly does has its share of air pollution.

A pollution of a different kind occurred on Thursday, May 3, when local residents began to complain of a sharp, burning odor that irritated their eyes and lungs. Some called in saying they were afraid to light their cigarettes for fear of blowing up. 

The heavy gas smell was experienced by people all the way to the suburban city of Herzliya, ten kilometers north of Tel Aviv. The incident was reported on local news sites,and on TV stations later in the day. Ehud Zvi of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel said that the source of the gas pollution is still being investigated and that such incidents are “not necessarily bad for public health, including those with respiratory problems.”

Gilad Erdan, the Israeli government’s Environmental Protection Minister, was quoted as saying that  the source of the foul smell has not been found, but that if attributed to a local industry, criminal charges could possibly be filed.

It’s like the mystery Red River in Lebanon a couple of months ago.

Emergency vehicles were sent to locations where the smell was exceptionally severe in case people might be overcome by it. Israel’s Channel 2 news reporters mentioned that suspected causes for the smell included pesticides that had been sprayed in areas just north of the city.

Such incidents are not common in the “Non-stop City”, although daily air pollution from cars, trucks and buses has resulted in  the municipality considering putting a ban on polluting vehicles like trucks from entering the city during morning rush hours.

In any case, air pollution in Tel Aviv is still not as serious as other regional cities; especially in Cairo and Teheran.


Read more about air pollution issues in Tel Aviv and other regional cities:
Free Radicals Attack Your Brain on Bikes in Polluted Cities
Iranian Artists Fight Smog With the Teheran Monoxide Project
While You Eat Rice And Breathe Pure Air It’s Black Cloud Season Again in Cairo
Tel Aviv Will Ban Trucks From Tel Aviv During Morning Rush Hours

Image of Cairo smog via Masterplaan

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