Air quality in Almaty

Air quality index (AQI) and PM2.5 air pollution in Almaty

LAST UPDATE (local time)

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Weather

What is the current weather in Almaty?

Weather icon
WeatherFew clouds
Temperature78.8°C
Humidity28%
Wind6.7 mp/h
Pressure1009 mb

live aqi city ranking

Real-time Kazakhstan city ranking

Tooltip icon
#cityUS AQI
1 Karagandy, Karaganda

159

2 Kostanay, Qostanay

152

3 Shchuchinsk, Aqmola

125

4 Burabay, Soltustik Qazaqstan

99

5 Shymkent, Ongtustik Qazaqstan

75

6 Temirtau, Karaganda

74

7 Zhetibay, Mangghystau

73

8 Taraz, Zhambyl

71

9 Nur-Sultan, Nur-Sultan

68

10 Karatau, Zhambyl

63

(local time)

SEE WORLD AQI RANKING

live Almaty aqi ranking

Real-time Almaty air quality ranking

Tooltip icon
#stationUS AQI
1 Almaty - no.3: Alatau

79

2 Alpharabes - Markov

73

3 Sairan

70

4 Tulebaeva, 82

62

5 Almaty - no.5: ice arena

61

6 Almaty - no.6: Zhetysu

60

7 KazGU1

55

8 Satpayev-Lugansky (TS485314)

55

9 KazGU2

54

10 Esentai Block C

53

(local time)

SEE WORLD AQI RANKING

US AQI

50

live AQI index
Good

Human face indicating AQI level

Overview

What is the current air quality in Almaty?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Good 50 US AQItrendPM2.5
PollutantsConcentration
PM2.5
12.1 µg/m³trend
PM10
18 µg/m³trend
NO2
6.8 µg/m³trend
SO2
3.2 µg/m³trend
CO
708.4 µg/m³trend
!

PM2.5

x1

PM2.5 concentration in Almaty air is currently 1 times above WHO exposure recommendation

Health Recommendations

How to protect from air pollution in Almaty?

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Forecast

Almaty air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Tuesday, Aug 3

Good 38 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Wednesday, Aug 4

Good 37 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Thursday, Aug 5

Good 46 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Today

Good 45 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon93.2°69.8°
Wind rotating 347 degree

11.2 mp/h

Saturday, Aug 7

Moderate 88 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon93.2°68°
Wind rotating 339 degree

13.4 mp/h

Sunday, Aug 8

Moderate 70 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon96.8°69.8°
Wind rotating 322 degree

6.7 mp/h

Monday, Aug 9

Moderate 63 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon86°71.6°
Wind rotating 164 degree

8.9 mp/h

Tuesday, Aug 10

Moderate 93 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon89.6°66.2°
Wind rotating 334 degree

8.9 mp/h

Wednesday, Aug 11

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 117 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon91.4°66.2°
Wind rotating 352 degree

6.7 mp/h

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Historical

Historic air quality graph for Almaty

How to best protect from air pollution?

Reduce your air pollution exposure in Almaty

AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS AND STATISTICS FOR Almaty

What is the air quality index of Almaty?

The city of Almaty was formerly known as Alma-Ata and also as Verny. It is the largest city in Kazakhstan with an approximate population of 2 million people. It is situated in the mountainous area in the south of the country, very close to the border with Kyrgyzstan.

At the beginning of 2021, the air quality index in Almaty was “Unhealthy” with a US AQI reading of 169. This classification is based on recommendations by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The recorded concentrations of the pollutants are as follows: PM2.5 - 89.8 µg/m³, PM10 - 110.9 µg/m³, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), - 52.4 µg/m³, sulphur dioxide (SO2) - 5.7 µg/m³ and carbon monoxide (CO) - 35.5 µg/m³. With levels such as these, the advice is to wear a good quality mask when going outside. Close doors and windows to prevent the ingress of dirty air into the home and run an air purifier if one is available. All forms of outdoor exercise should be avoided until the air quality improves.

What is the main source of Almaty’s polluted air?

The main sources of pollution in Almaty comes from the exhausts from vehicles, the emissions from coal-fired power plants, the dust caused by the construction industry and urban planning.

According to statistics, Almaty is the most polluted city in Kazakhstan. The main reason is the large number of cars. In fact, in 2011 Almaty was registered as one of the 25 most polluted cities in the world. However, since then, no measures have been taken to protect the city's clean air. However, the number of polluting cars in the city is growing by 40,000 a year.

Is air pollution in Almaty getting better or worse?

In late 2020 plans were made public as to how the quality of air in Almaty can be improved. This included a reduction in emissions from the thermal power plants. A proposal was also put forward to convert Almaty and its suburban areas to gas. A control of greenery will be introduced which will make it difficult to fell mature trees and to encourage the planting of green areas. Diesel-powered vehicles will eventually be phased out over a period of a few years. It has also been suggested that certain cities will eventually become traffic-free.

In fulfilment of the instructions of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Kemelovich Tokayev on improving the environmental situation in Almaty, local authorities are actively working with public organisations to expand the network of air quality control in the territory of Almaty. Currently, the ecological network "Kazhydromet" consists of 20 control points but from 8th June 2020, monitoring of air quality in Almaty increased to 10 sensors recording levels of PM2.5, the data will be displayed in the mobile application "AirKz", on an interactive map and will be published in the monthly newsletter. The total control network of Almaty is 26 points. Kazhydromet is also working with a publicly funded foundation to improve air quality in Almaty. As part of this cooperation, it is planned to connect 10 stations of Eco-Expert LLP to the control network, so that the monitoring of Almaty will cover 36 control points.

What can be done to improve the air quality in Almaty?

Experts claim that the city's air is particularly badly affected by old vehicles. Drivers prefer to buy used cars because they are cheaper than new ones. However, many have old inefficient catalytic converters which are no longer effective. As a result, harmful substances are released into the air. Therefore, they want to introduce an environmental fee for old cars.

From 2022, it is proposed to establish additional environmental payments for the use of gasoline and diesel fuel in the Almaty agglomeration. Thus, the transport tax system will be reformed. All proceeds will be used for air purification, including the development of alternative modes of transport, subsidies for low-income citizens and the development of environmentally friendly public transport.

Eco-activists say it is necessary to create a green zone in the centre of the city and give it special protection. For this purpose, it is necessary to change the construction standards. That is, construction will be stopped and replaced by greenery. It is planned to introduce a progressive tax rate for those who build in such green belts and foothills. And only cars that meet the environmental category will be allowed to enter the green zone. In addition, the cost of parking will increase.

Under this program, eco-activists will reach an agreement with a loan company to consider low-interest loans for those who want to convert their cars to (LPG) gas. So far, this is still in the planning stage. However, starting this year, Almaty's public transport and utilities will be gradually switched to gas. The city will be banned from purchasing diesel vehicles, and the purchase of gasoline vehicles with emissions below Euro-5 will be suspended. Public transport will be converted to LPG, and passengers will be transported by subway, LRT and other electric vehicles.

What are the effects of breathing Almaty’s poor quality air?

Researchers in the United States and China, who spent four years studying maths and public speaking skills of 20,000 people in China, found that prolonged exposure to polluted air significantly reduced cognitive ability. According to them, although the study was conducted only in Chinese cities, 80 per cent of the world's urban population breathes polluted air.

A study conducted in Almaty in 2018 showed a high incidence of upper respiratory diseases in the city. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was diagnosed in 6.7 per cent of the adult population of Almaty, and bronchial asthma in 25.5 per cent. The study shows that the prevalence of the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and allergic rhinitis is much higher in Kazakhstan than in Ukraine and Azerbaijan. Civil society activists have suggested that the increase in the number of lung diseases and deaths is due to the environmental situation. Therefore, they immediately recommend the adoption of a program to improve the atmosphere of the city. The program will help bring Almaty's air quality up to the standards of European cities and the World Health Organisation within 5 years.

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