Get a monitor and contributor to air quality data in your city.
AIR QUALITY DATA CONTRIBUTORSFind out more about contributors and data sources
live AQI index
|Air pollution level
|Air quality index
| 8 US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Chelyabinsk air currently meets the WHO annual air quality guideline value
| Enjoy outdoor activities
| Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors
GET A MONITOR
|Tuesday, Feb 27
Good 5 AQI US
|Wednesday, Feb 28
Good 3 AQI US
|Thursday, Feb 29
Good 5 AQI US
Good 8 AQI US
|Saturday, Mar 2
Good 41 AQI US
|Sunday, Mar 3
Good 45 AQI US
|Monday, Mar 4
Good 23 AQI US
|Tuesday, Mar 5
Moderate 52 AQI US
|Wednesday, Mar 6
Moderate 67 AQI US
|Thursday, Mar 7
Good 16 AQI US
Interested in hourly forecast? Get the app
Chelyabinsk is a city and the administrative centre of Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia. According to a 2010 census, the population was estimated as 1.1 million people, which put it as the 7th largest city in Russia (by population). The city is to the east of the Ural Mountains and sits on the banks of the Miass River which is regarded as the boundary between Europe and Asia.
At the beginning of 2021, Chelyabinsk was experiencing “Good” quality air with a US AQI reading of just 21. The measured concentration of PM2.5 was 5.1 µg/m³.
With levels such as these windows can be opened to let in the fresh air and all types of outdoor activity can be enjoyed.
The level of air pollution in Chelyabinsk is formed under the influence of emissions from large metallurgical enterprises, energy enterprises, as well as vehicle emissions, the number of which is increasing every year.
On 6th January, there was also a strong burning smell in the city and visibility was significantly reduced. Smoke and the smell of burning spread to the city with a weak south wind, but without receding. Possible sources of pollution were suspected these are fires at a landfill on the southern edge of the city, as well as emissions from oil refineries, the legality of which is being checked.
Calm weather for Chelyabinsk most often means that the city will be covered with smog. Emissions from factories and exhaust fumes from cars and trucks do not dissipate but envelop houses. As the locals joke, on such days the city air can not only be seen but also touched. People say that it’s impossible to walk outside because of developing a sore throat and suffering from stinging eyes. The windows in the house cannot be opened and those families with young children invest in an air purifier as a counter-measure.
Due to the rise in the dollar exchange rate, it has become much more profitable to export Chelyabinsk metal for export. Because of this, production increased and consequently, there were more emissions. Unfortunately, the owners decided to extract excess profits over a short period of time and not invest in filtration systems.
To solve this problem, eco-activists proposed to install filters, move the most harmful industries outside the city (as they did in other large Russian cities, such as Yekaterinburg, Kazan and Moscow), introduce a moratorium on cutting down green zones and increase the number of stationary posts that measure air pollution, up to 20, and enable online monitoring of factory emissions.
Even though the emissions were recorded, the authorities were under no obligation to reveal the figures to the public.
A group of environmentalists decided to create a system that records the dynamics of changes in the concentration of harmful substances and the plume of their dispersion. They decided to measure suspended particles with a size of 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5): if their content in the air jumped sharply, this indirectly indicates an emergency situation. After realising what type of device they needed, the activists created it themselves: they chose suitable sensors, tested them and then ordered a whole series.
Simple Chelyabinsk citizens who want to know what they breathe helped to finance this. Through a website, the townspeople are able to order a measuring device, which the activists will give them at the cost price of 3,000 roubles. Having received the device, it is enough to plug it into an outlet, hang it from the window and connect it to the Internet. After that, it will automatically start sending information about air pollution to the server, and it will be displayed on the map in real-ime.
The topic of air pollution was discussed at an environmental forum back in 2017 but none of the experts could say what was happening to the air quality such as how much emissions come from large factories, and how much comes from small enterprises and vehicles.
Because of the huge demand for individual monitoring devices, the initiative turned out to be in great demand: residents are now actively sharing information and discussing the measurement results. Thanks to the monitoring system, activists managed to find out that the main emissions occur in portions, at night and on weekends. When they began to investigate it further, it turned out that the posts of Roshydromet (The Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring) were not working at that time. As a result, they managed to ensure that the governor allocated funds for the operation of posts around the clock and daily. At first, they did not notice us, then they fought with us, and now we have won and the authorities are using our system.
This system which was instigated by the local environmentalist group does not allow hiding emission data, has pushed government agencies to fulfil their responsibilities and inform people about air pollution. For the creation of a monitoring system in Chelyabinsk, they promised to allocate about 300 million roubles from the funds of pollutants and from the federal and regional budgets.
Small particles of PM2.5 and PM10 and various other harmful compounds, mainly from combustion processes, are transported into the indoor air from outside. They also arise from many internal sources, such as smoking. Exposure to small particles increases premature mortality, cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and possibly asthma.
A wide variety of gaseous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be present in indoor air. These compounds evaporate into the indoor air, especially from building materials. Emissions may increase due to wetting of the materials. The main health effects of VOCs in residential environments are related to transient irritation and respiratory symptoms.
Industrial mineral fibres, such as glass fibres (glass wool) and rock fibres (rock wool), can enter the indoor air. Mineral wool fibres are used in building thermal insulation materials, acoustic panels and sound insulation such as ventilation duct silencers. Glass and rock wool can cause skin, eye and respiratory tract irritation.