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Air pollution in Ulaanbaatar

Environmental pollution in Ulaanbaatar is an incredible disease, it can only be prevented

Mongolia has wide open space, blue sky, and fresh air. This is how tourists imagine Mongolia. But this does not exist in the capital city of Mongolia.

The air pollution in Ulaanbaatar city is silently killing many people every year. That is why people nowadays call it Death Valley. Utaan baatar- smoky hero. Mongolia’s capital city is the one of most polluted cities in the world. It sounds scary. PM2.5, the most dangerous substance is invisible to the eye. PM2.5 stands for particulates, suspended solid or liquid particles in the atmosphere which are less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. Because of their tiny size, they can easily enter your lung and circulatory system and it is extremely dangerous for your health. PM 10 stands for Dust with a size of less than 10 microns is called coarse particles or PM10, and it remains volatile in the air for a long time and can enter the human body through inhalation and cause diseases.

In Mongolian winter daily average PM2.5 pollution level reaches 687 micrograms per cubic meter-27 times the level World Health Organization.

The causes of air pollution in UB

UB is surrounded by high mountains so it has low winds. Coal burning in the Ger district- Total population of 3 million, there are 1.3 million lives in UB. In UB 60% of residents live in the Ger district. Total population of 3.4 million, there are about 1.5 million lives in UB. In UB 60% of residents live in the ger district. In previous years at least 30 thousand rural population have migrated to UB. That’s how the city has a sprawling ger-district, each & and every household needs to heat their home by burning coal, some of the residents are struggling to make a living and firing their stoves for heating and cooking, that they would burn anything that they can burn, including rubber tires and plastic bags, throwing toxic gases into outdoor air. There are 198 thousand households in the UB ger district. Cars- too many cars in UB. Maybe some percent of industrial pollution.

Pollution causes a health burden. The most common air pollution damages the heart & and blood vessels, immunization, and nervous system. Roughly 20% of all cardiovascular diseases and 40% of lung cancer, 15-20% of miscarriages are attributable to air pollution.

Government intervention. The government of Mongolia approved the national program on reducing air & and environmental pollution for the first time. This program will be implemented in 2017-2025 and a total amount of MNT9.9 trillion is budgeted to run this campaign. This year, it has budgeted to use MNT4 billion 950 million for combating air pollution. The majority part of funding or MNT 3.5 billion is planned to be spent on night electricity discounts for UB’s ger district households.

The good news is, that a total of 15% of the ger-district is benefiting from night electricity discount, compared to last year usage of coal has reduced by 59.0 tons according to the Education & Tourism Ministry.

Citizen’s participation in reducing air pollution is as follows;

- Seek opportunities to meet electricity and heat consumption using renewable energy (Solar and wind energy)

- Connecting households not connected to power to central power

- Upgrade, remove, and connect low-pressure boilers to central heating

- Use of improved stoves and improved fuels

- Plant lawns and create a green environment

- Use of gas and other fuels

- Residential housing in the neighborhood

- Improved oven

- Smokeless fuel (concentrated coal, semi-coking coal, gas fuel, etc.)

- Thicken home insulation in winter and reduce heat loss from the walls of the house

- Increase the number of green structures near the yard and office;

- Choose a heating method other than the stove in winter: electric, oil heating, etc

The habits that each and every person has to follow;

The most vulnerable residents of UB need to have a habit of wearing an antipollution mask in order to protect themselves. Also, use air purifiers everywhere you live, work & and sleep. Do not open the windows between 6 am – 9 am & and 4 pm – 11 pm. If we make these methods to habit, then we can protect ourselves by 90% from air pollution.

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