UB Air quality is degrading, says expert

Trans. by D.SERGELEN

 Undesnii Shuudan spoke to Air Quality Department expert of the National Agency for Meteorology and Environment Monitoring of Mongolia, J.Bayarmagnai.

How does air pollution compare to the corresponding period of last year?

The city air quality is being studied at 14 posts including 10 of the National Agency for Meteorology and Environment Monitoring and four of the City Air Quality Department.

We examine the main sources of air pollution in four to six types of indicators. As of last year, the content of sulfuric gas declined by over 20 percent or eight mg per cubic meter and the content of nitric dioxide reduced by over 26 percent or 18 mg per cubic meter from the previous year.

The indicator of particulate matter was same as the previous year and big changes haven’t been observed. But the fine particulate matter decreased by over 21 percent or 27 mg per cubic meter compared with the corresponding period of the previous year.

Which air pollution indicator is more harmful to human health?

If the common pollutant indicators increase from normal levels, it is harmful to the human body. In other words, any substance, that is higher than its normal level is poisonous to human health. So it is not accurate to compare which is more harmful.

Is there any excessive amount of pollutant substances in the air today?

From the data collected in September, nitric dioxide is higher than its average level in areas near big roads and 13th khoroolol.  A great amount of particulate matter was observed in ger districts, and road and construction sites.  According to the data collection centers, particulate matters are above average in Zuun Ail and Khusug Center.

Is it true that the amount of harmful substances in air have declined in Ulaanbaatar?

We can’t say that it is harmful. Maybe this rumor was spread from the main pollutant substances. The fine particulate matters are very tiny and naked eyes cannot see them.  For example, PM 10 is five to seven times thinner than the diameter of a human hair. Very small particulate matters exist in the atmosphere and the human respiratory system doesn’t filter the small pieces and this affects internal organs.

But bigger particulate matters, in other words, natural dust, is filtered through the human respiratory system and it’s affects are lower.

Can we understand that air quality is worsening year by year?

The air quality study started very early. But it used to measure sulfuric acid and nitric monoxide with old methods and we imported equipments to measure air pollution. Since then, the air quality monitoring capacity has increased.

The French and Mongolian governments work together in this area and supplied portable air quality monitors. Consequently, measuring air pollution and its affects has expanded.

According to comparative data, air pollution seems to be declining, but in air quality standard comparisons, air pollution is increasing.

Can we avoid being affected by air pollution?

All the emissions travel by air. The main reason for air pollution is dust from moving things such as cars, ger district, and hydro heating stoves and etc.

The fume from a ger spreads at a relatively lower altitude.  But the fume from the thermoelectric plants scatter to the atmosphere because its chimneys are located higher.

In extreme winter climate, cold air is accumulated on the ground and becomes the main source of air pollution.


Source: Undesnii Shuudan


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