General, Research, Technology

How much air pollution has been in Russia in recent years?

The outgoing 2020 turned out to be veryheavy, but nature breathed a sigh of relief. The fact is that thanks to the restrictions introduced during the coronavirus pandemic, the air in many cities of the world has been cleared of most pollution. Thanks to the temporary closure of factories and other establishments, in April the air in India cleared so much that residents for the first time in 30 years were able to look at the Himalayan mountains from their windows. The same has been observed in many other cities of the world, but not in Russia... According to FinExpertiza, the levelpollution in our country over the past nine months has become a record since the beginning of observations in 2004. And now the most interesting thing - which cities became the most polluted and why did this happen?

In 2020, the air in Russia has become much dirtier than before

Air pollution in Russia

Businesswoman shared not the best newsnewspaper "Vedomosti". She shared the results of a study conducted by FinExpertiza, in which the number of cases of significant excess of air pollution standards was calculated. It turned out that the number of such cases this year reached 171, which three times more than in the entire 2019... According to the authors of the study, the outgoing 2020the year became the dirtiest for Russia in the last 16 years. This, at least, is evidenced by a comparison of the current indicators with the results of previous observations.

Dirty air causes many diseases

The researchers noted that air is strongest.in Russian cities it got polluted in July, August and September. Recall that it was then that most of the restrictions associated with the coronavirus pandemic were lifted. Then, many establishments opened after several months of quarantine measures and, apparently, were trying to catch up. So if the air became cleaner during quarantine, then it became even more dirty.

It is believed that dirty air takes a year of life from every person

But severe air pollution was also observed inwinter period from January to February. There is nothing particularly surprising in this, because at this time the heating season is already underway and a lot of greenhouse gases are emitted into the air. And from March to June, when many of us were at home, the air in Russia became really cleaner. Only four cases of exceeding the norm of polluted air were recorded.

See also: Where is the cleanest air on Earth?

Cities with the dirtiest air

Most cases of air pollution wererecorded in the Samara region, where the automotive and chemical industries are very developed. From the beginning of 2020 to this day, there have been 112 cases of severe environmental pollution. The second place in this list was taken by Buryatia with 22 cases of pollution, and the third - by the Orenburg region with 9 cases. The researchers also included in the list of the most polluted cities in Russia in 2020 such cities as Buryat Selenginsk, Transbaikal Chita and Ulan-Ude and Krasnoyarsk.

In 2020, Samara residents did not breathe the freshest air

It is important to note that in some casesair pollution has been linked to industrial accidents in factories. The largest of them were accidents at oil refineries in the Komi Republic, Samara Region and Udmurtia. Researchers believe that some businesses could continue to operate even during quarantine, but with fewer people. Therefore, compliance with environmental requirements could well recede into the background.

During various accidents, the air becomes even dirtier

Meanwhile, the dirtiest city in RussiaNorilsk is considered, in which more than 100 thousand people live. Its entire economy is based on the mining industry, which produces many harmful substances. Until 2016, 400,000 tons of sulfur dioxide were released into the air of this city every year. Of course, air pollution affected the health of local residents and even the growth of trees. My colleague Alexander Bogdanov recently spoke in more detail about the destructive effect of toxic substances in the air.

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But the most poisonous city in Russia islocated in the Chelyabinsk region Karabash. I already wrote about this city in this article and the most interesting fact about it was that its air is saturated with lead, sulfur and arsenic. These substances poison local residents every day, so Karabash is considered almost the most dangerous city in Russia for health.