|1||Solnechnyy, Krasnoyarsk Krai|
|6||Serpukhov, Moscow Oblast|
|9||Krasnoyarsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai|
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|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 53 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Krasnoyarsk is currently 2.6 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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| Sensitive groups should reduce outdoor exercise|
|Saturday, Feb 4|
Unhealthy 176 US AQI
|Sunday, Feb 5|
Unhealthy 164 US AQI
|Monday, Feb 6|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 123 US AQI
Moderate 53 US AQI
|Wednesday, Feb 8|
Good 12 US AQI
|Thursday, Feb 9|
Good 11 US AQI
|Friday, Feb 10|
Good 25 US AQI
|Saturday, Feb 11|
Good 26 US AQI
|Sunday, Feb 12|
Good 16 US AQI
|Monday, Feb 13|
Good 13 US AQI
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Krasnoyarsk is a city located in the Siberian region of Russia, being the third largest city located in the vast expanse of land in northern Asia. It is also counted as the largest city in Krasnoyarsk Krai, a federal area of northern Russia that counts Krasnoyarsk as its administrative hub. There are some 1.03 million people living there as of 2010, a number that may be subject to change due to the long period of time since the census was taken.
Despite having a fairly large and diverse population, the city is lacking in specific infrastructure, with subway projects having been proposed decades ago and since terminated. This indicates that dependance on vehicles would be higher in such a location, which can have knock on effects on pollution levels dur to increased reliance on cars, as well as heavy duty vehicles such as trucks and lorries, many of which run on diesel fuels and as such would contribute to the year round elevations in pollution.
In 2019, Krasnoyarsk came in with a PM2.5 reading of 17.7 μg/m³, putting it into the ‘moderate’ ratings bracket of pollution levels, which requires a reading of anywhere between 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such. Despite not being as catastrophic a reading as some of its nearby neighbors on the Asian side, this is still a high reading for Russia, coming in at 1st place out of all cities ranked in Russia, as well as 1046th place out of all cities ranked worldwide. This is indicative that Krasnoyarsk has some definite issues with its pollution levels that would need addressing if it is to see marked improvements in the future.
As the number one most polluted city in the whole of Russia over the course of 2019 (and by quite a considerable PM2.5 reading at that), it stands to reason that there would be several different sources of unaddressed pollution problems causing such poor rankings and levels of air quality.
One of these would be that of its factories and power plants, being known as somewhat of an industrial powerhouse of the region, with many of these facilities putting out vast clouds of smoke, haze and other contaminants that help to push the city to the top spot amongst all Russian cities. These highs were not just reported on in 2019, but came up on numerous occasions over the last few years (with many of these factories having been built during the soviet era and thus are old and outdated in their technology and combustion methods).
Meteorological conditions such as extreme cold, low humidity as well as no wind or periods of very little wind can also have cumulative effects on pollution levels, causing smoke to build up and stay at ground level, unable to rise into the upper atmosphere and disperse normally.
So, with soviet era factories, coal powered energy plants and other such similar places being the main cause of pollution in Krasnoyarsk, other contributors would be the previously mentioned use of vehicles, particularly larger ones running on diesel. Construction sites as well as road repairs or builds can also release more fine particulate matter into the air, along with heavy metals and microplastics, which whilst not possesing as much of a devastating effect on the air quality as the factories do, they still contribute to the overall levels of pollution.
Observing the data taken over the course of 2019, one can see quite an unusual pattern of pollution emerging in the city. Generally, the middle period of the year is when pollution levels are at their lowest, but in the midst of this the most polluted month of the year suddenly appears, with July coming in at an extremely elevated PM2.5 reading 48.1μg/m³, despite its surrounding months being significantly cleaner.
Besides this sudden leap, it can also be observed that air pollution levels start to worsen towards the end of the year, with October coming in at a reading of 8.9 μg/m³, before jumping up to 13 μg/m³ in November, going up by two whole group ratings (jumping from the WHO's target group of 10 μg/m³ or less up to the moderate ratings bracket). This continued to rise upwards, with December coming in at a further 22.4 μg/m³, with these higher pollution readings continuing on until the next year, staying elevated until March when the PM2.5 readings started to abate.
With these figures in mind, it can be said that the most polluted period of the year is at the very end and at the beginning, with the most polluted month appearing out of nowhere in the middle point of the year, with July coming in at 48.1 μg/m³, five times higher than the lowest pollution reading taken that year.
Following directly from the previous question, as touched on briefly, the air pollution levels start to improve quickly around March, with March’s reading coming in at 15.9 μg/m³ and then dropping to 10.9 μg/m³ in April, and then even further to 9.3 μg/m³ in May, with June, September and October all coming in with the best readings of PM2.5, and the anomaly of July and its following month tainting what should have been the cleaner period of the year.
So, overlooking the months of July and August, it can be said that April through to June, and then September to October is when the air quality is at its best, with four of these months coming within the WHO's target goal of 10 μg/m³ or less, and October being the cleanest month of the year with a reading of 8.9 μg/m³.
With much of its fuel stemming from the burning of fossil fuels such as diesel and more prominently, coal, there would be the subsequent pollution related to the combustion of these materials. Prominent ones would be black carbon, a major component in soot and a known carcinogen, as well as volatile organic compounds (VOC's) such as benzene, toluene, xylene, methylene chloride and formaldehyde.
All of these are highly dangerous to human health, and particularly easy to respire, with black carbon often fitting the size bracket of 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, thus able to penetrate way past the defensive barriers of the nose and throat and make their way deep into the lung tissues. VOC's are also easy to respire due to their volatile nature making them gaseous, even at much lower temperatures and thus a greater danger. Other pollutants would include polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and polychlorinated biphenyls.
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