Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, home of 1.345 million people, wakes up every morning to gray smog covering the sky. The city’s air which is commonly far worse than Beijing’s, one of the cities with the most infamous amount of air pollution. The increase in smog, especially during the winter months, is due to the pollution caused by the smoke and trash totaled by the people of Mongolia to keep warm during the winter months. The citizens say that it affects their daily lives constantly. One man mentions that often times his children get too sick while walking to school that they have to take days at a time to recover from the sickness that the smog causes. The city’s total emissions of PM2.5 (harmful breathable particles) surged to a high of 855 micrograms per cubic meter late last month. Beijing’s air on the same day measured 70 micrograms. The acceptable standard for micrograms in the air, according to the World Health Organization, is 25 micrograms. Ulaanbaatar’s air has been known to hit 1,000 micrograms. About 80% of the heaviest smog is located in the poorer regions of Mongolia’s capital. This is mainly due to the increase in population due to many residents who are former herders who migrated to the city after their livestock was wiped out by recent extremely harsh winters, which have become more common, partly because of climate change. The government has taken some precaution to help the environment in some way to help to repair the damage that has already occurred. Their attempts are proving futile though as the cost
seems irreversible. One woman describes the cost the smog has cost her saying, “I was pregnant three times, but I lost all of them. With my fourth child, I had to go to the countryside to get fresh air to give birth.
“Los Angeles Times.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/83585927-132.html.
“Mongolia’s toxic smog.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, widerimage.reuters.com/story/mongolias-toxic-smog.