Citizens of the city facing lung damage


Ulaanbaatar is in first place with its leading air pollution, as one of the world’s most polluted cities. Health organizations point out that the amount of dust is increasing because of road and construction work. The amount of harmful particles in city air is 1,575 micrograms. This means that one person’s lungs is being subjected to the equivalent toxic substances of smoking four to five packs of cigarettes a day. These fine particles are threatening our health. Data collected from a site in the Bayanzurkh District showed that the amount of fine particles, or PM2.5, was at extremely high levels around the Bayanzurkh District last summer.
Doctors have said that dust cannot be seen with the human eye and people do not know how it can influence their health. The amount of particles in the air must be lower than 10 micrograms. But in Mongolia, the amount of particles in the air was 157 micrograms in 2007, and 279 micrograms in 2008. It is increasing day by day and the number is now 1,575 micrograms in 2013. Dust and particles are 60 percent derived from air polluting factories. In a survey conducted by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the World Bank, the concentration of particles is more than 14 times Mongolian air quality standards and more than three times the World Health Organization’s air quality standards. Experts say this means the air is harmful. Because of this, there is twice the number of children suffering from bronchitis, and the number of people suffering from asthma is increasing at the same rate.

45,000 people will get sick at a cost of 5 billion MNT by 2015

Around 42,000 people will suffer from chronic lung inflammation and the government will spend five billion MNT on their care by 2015, if action isn’t taken to decrease the amount of particulates in Ulaanbaatar’s air. Doctors have said that the number of people suffering from inflammation of the lung and dust allergy is increasing day by day. The indicators above show us that Ulaanbaatar is facing disaster. Deputy of the City Governor’s Ecology and Green Development Department, T.Bat-Erdene, said that particles in office buildings are more dangerous to human health than dust outside. Smoking indoors can be decreased but how can we reduce dust? But firstly, reducing smoke in the air is the best way to decrease particulates.

“Roads and squares will be washed starting next year”

Chief of the City Air Quality Office, Ch.Batsaikhan, said, “There is talk that Ulaanbaatar is the most polluted city, but this is a comparative contest. It is doubtful which organization raised this index by which survey method. It is true that the amount of dust and particles influence human health. However, Mongolia is not leading the world with its dust. Especially since experts say that fine particles have the most negative influence. There are lots of factors that generate dust and particles, such as roadwork, construction and population density. But we have to take action against this. We have to develop green areas, and increase the number of small fountains. Most highly developed cities wash their roads and squares. That is why we are planning to wash roads next year. If we wash public roads and areas, dust must decrease.”
According to health statistics, respiratory disease is increasing year by year in Ulaanbaatar and it represents 23.4 to 24.4 percent of total diseases diagnosed. Dust and particles are like a silent plague sickening our lungs. Doctors have determined that fine particles are linked to the chronic inflammation of pulmonary alveoli. It is time to create a healthy and clean environment. Let’s take care of our health.

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