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live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 15* US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Volgograd air currently meets the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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Good 15 AQI US
|Friday, Dec 1|
Good 24 AQI US
|Saturday, Dec 2|
Good 34 AQI US
|Sunday, Dec 3|
Good 41 AQI US
|Monday, Dec 4|
Moderate 63 AQI US
|Tuesday, Dec 5|
Good 35 AQI US
|Wednesday, Dec 6|
Moderate 52 AQI US
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Volgograd is a city located within Volgograd Oblast, a region in southern Russia that is home to over 2.6 million people, with Volgograd being the largest city in the region as well as the administrative heart, with 1 million of the region’s inhabitants living within the city itself. It has been known by other names in the past such as Tsaritsyn and Stalingrad. It sees itself nowadays home to many attractions both man-made and natural, and thus has a large section of its economy dedicated to tourism.
Aside from visitors to the city, it also has a prominent presence as a heavily industrialized area, with many factories and production plants involved in industries such as metal production, namely steel and aluminum, as well as shipbuilding, oil refineries and the production of automobiles and heavy machinery. Whilst the quality of life has gone up as the city moves forward into the future, it has also had a negative impact on the environment (which much of Russia has seen in the past due to poorly planned soviet practices that left large amounts of the environment damaged), with certain polluting factors that will be discussed in short.
In early 2021, Volgograd was seen with PM2.5 readings of 7.1 μg/m³, an extremely good reading that would place Volgograd into the World Health Organizations target goal for the best quality of air at 10 μg/m³ or less. This indicates that whilst Volgograd may have some pollutive issues, particularly in certain areas, it still manages to maintain a good level of air quality and as such can be considered a city that has both exceptionally clean air but highly polluted hotspots.
In times past, namely in the 1990’s and before, a majority of the air pollution seen in Volgograd would have come from factories and other industrial areas. In more modern times, whilst there is still a higher level of smoke and other pollutants emanating from factories or power plants, the main cause of air pollution is coming from a massive increase in vehicle ownership. As an industrial city, there would be a large amount of products being moved in and out of the city, and this would require the use of larger vehicles, with ones such as lorries and trucks inhabiting the road, along with smaller personal vehicles such as cars.
Both of these can put out large amounts of pollution, with the larger ones putting out more smoke and haze per singular vehicle than a smaller counterpart would. As well as this, they often run on diesel fuels, which can release far more chemicals and hazardous particulate matter into the air when it undergoes combustion. Other sources would include construction sites and road repairs, as well as demolition sites (all of which can take place as the cities infrastructure undergoes significant amounts of change) as well as factory emissions, and the open burning of organic material such as firewood or charcoal, particularly during the colder winter months.
With a majority of its pollution coming from combustion sources, namely cars and industrial areas, there would subsequently be a large amount of related pollutants found in the air in Volgograd. These include ones such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2) as well as the various oxides of nitrogen (NOx), which find their release predominantly in vehicle exhaust. Another pollutant can be formed when these oxides of nitrogen are exposed to sunlight or solar radiation, namely ozone (O3), or smog as it is known when it accumulates in large enough amounts.
All of these can cause irritation and damage to the lining of the lungs and respiratory tract, and see large amounts of release in vehicle emissions, with nitrogen dioxide being the biggest offender from car engines. Other pollutants include ones such as volatile organic compounds (VOC's) and black carbon, the main component of soot. Some examples of VOC's are chemicals such as xylene, methylene chloride, toluene, benzene and formaldehyde.
Whilst it is apparent that there are no portions of the population that are truly safe from the pervasive effects of over exposure to pollution, with even young and healthy adults being susceptible to adverse health conditions, there are certain demographics that are even more vulnerable and at risk, for a variety of reasons, usually pertaining to their physical health. One of these would be the elderly, who can be affected gravely by excessive amounts of chemical pollutants and particulate matter, with the subsequent respiratory conditions they bring on having some serious consequences for the elderly population.
Others include young children, who are at risk from developing a number of allergies and other conditions such as asthma when exposed to certain chemical irritants, which can then develop into a lifelong problem if not properly addressed. Stunting of growth can occur as well due to damage to lung tissue and reduced pulmonary function, with neurological damage also being possible. Other at risk groups include those who have preexisting health conditions, particularly of the respiratory or cardiac variety, and those who have a hypersensitivity towards chemicals, or compromised immune systems.
Lastly, pregnant mothers are also extremely vulnerable due to the amount of adverse effects pollution can have on an unborn child, with cases of miscarriage, premature birth or low birth weight all being possible, which can raise the infant mortality rate considerably, as well as leave them with possible physical or mental impairments.
Whilst the air quality of Volgograd can reach very clean levels, as mentioned in the pollution hotspots, the adverse health effects can be more severe and with a higher chance to occur. Some of these health issues include ones such as cases of ischemic heart disease, as well as other cardiac conditions including higher rates of heart attacks, angina and arrythmias.
Respiratory conditions would be the most prominent ones, with conditions such as aggravated asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and emphysema all being possible, as well as damage and scarring of the lung tissue, nausea, vomiting and irritation to the mucous membranes all being the highly unpleasant side effects of excessive pollution exposure.