Cycle 1 (2011 Deadline)
Determining sources and health impacts of particulate matter in Ulaanbaatar City to aid and assess current air pollution mitigation efforts
PI: Sereeter Lodoysamba, National University of Mongolia
U.S. Partner: Christa Hasenkopf, University of Colorado
Project Dates: June 2012 - August 2014
Dr. Sereeter Lodoysamba (center) with U.S. partner Dr.
Christa Hasenkopf (left) supervising one of the students.
The air quality in the capital city of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, is some of the worst in the world, with particulate matter (PM) levels some 17 to 35 times levels recommended by the World Health Organization. Such high PM levels are due to the natural geography of Ulaanbaatar, which is situated between two mountain ranges, the high concentration of the population that use traditional stoves to heat poorly insulated felt tents, and the subarctic climate that requires indoor heating up to nine months out of the year. Recently, donor organizations such as the United States government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation and the World Bank have taken several air pollution mitigation measures in conjunction with the Mongolian government. These measures include selling more efficient stoves and offering cheap, alternative fuels. Despite these efforts, there is not currently a robust method of monitoring the progress of these actions, in terms of air pollution concentrations or health impacts.
This project will address the situation in two ways. First, the researchers perform continuous measurements over an entire year at one site in Ulaanbaatar that will assess the amount of PM and its source appointment. They will compare the data obtained over the course of the year with a similar study conducted in 2008‐2009 at the same air quality station. With these data, they will evaluate and assess the impact of current air pollution mitigation efforts. Second, they will also determine morbidity and mortality due to air pollution via analysis of hospital records and will compare their findings with similar research reported in a recent World Bank Study. The results from the project will be shared widely with the local community and specifically with various Mongolian agencies involved in air pollution mitigation measures.
Summary of Recent Activities
The team continued its sampling and data analysis activities of black carbon and collection of medical data over the summer and early fall of 2013. Sampling of black carbon at two sites (National University of Mongolia and the Sansar area) was completed as of July 1, 2013. Sampling of PM2.5
, and black carbon was completed at the selected site in Zuun Ail by doctoral Student B. Bulgansaikhan. Elemental analysis for about 130 of collected samples has been done using the XRF analyzer, while collection of medical data is continuing from Enkhiin Sanaa Hospital. Preliminary results of the study have been shared on the wiki ubairpollution.org
. Prof. Lodoysamba was also invited to give a presentation on his work by the USAID mission in Mongolia and discussed the project with the mission director, Mr. Francis A. Donovan, and Ms. Mendsaikhan Hasbayar, project management specialist. The U.S. partner, Dr. Hasenkopf, returned to University of Colorado, where she completed the analysis of PM samples and black carbon data. Results of the study were discussed at several international conferences, including the International Conference on Climate Change in Arid and Semi-arid Region and Conference on Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, held in Mongolia, and at the 15th
International Conference on Total Reflection X-Ray Fluorescence AnalysisandRelated Methodsand 49th
Annual Conference on X-Ray Chemical Analysis, both held in Osaka, Japan. In the next six months, the team plans to complete the black carbon data analysis and the data processing on concentration of PM. The results will be summarized in papers to be submitted to peer-reviewed journals. A seminar on the results of the project will be organized at the National University of Mongolia, and Prof. Lodoysamba will participate in November in the Urban Environmental Pollution 2013 Asian Edition (UEP2013) Conference in Beijing. Dr. Hasenkopf will present PEER-related outreach work at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco, December 2013.
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U.S. partner Christa Hasenkopf pointing at one of the
project's PM measuring stations, based at a kindergarten.
Dr. Lodoysamba’s team with visiting NAS staff in
front of the National University of Mongolia.
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