Air Pollution Monitoring

Atmospheric air as an integral part of natural resources is a national wealth and is protected by the state. Without water, a human can survive for several days, without food even a month, and without air – only a few minutes.

Air pollution has always been a concern due to its harmful effects on human health. Air pollution negatively affects human health. It is one of the causes of allergies and diseases of the respiratory system. That is why the quality of the air we breathe is so important. An increased concentration of pollutants is observed in the atmosphere of almost every large city, negatively affecting the ecosystem and the health of its inhabitants.

The composition of the air can change over time and space. This is facilitated by emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere, weather conditions, as well as geographic location. Both anthropogenic and natural sources of pollution play an important role in the formation of the qualitative and quantitative composition of atmospheric air.

Natural sources of atmospheric pollution are volcanic eruptions, forest fires, dust storms, erosion processes, decomposition of organic matter. The anthropogenic sources of air pollution include industrial and thermal power plants, transportation, residential heating systems, agriculture, and household waste.

As a result of economic activities in such sectors as energy, transportation, agriculture, waste processing, the pollutants or chemical compounds are released into the air, where they enter into various chemical reactions to form secondary pollution in the atmosphere.

Accelerating urbanization also significantly contributes to increased air pollution. Today, more than half of the population lives in the cities, which, on the one hand, are often sources of air pollution, and on the other, it is in them that the effects of air pollution are felt especially acutely.

Air pollution does not recognize national boundaries: emissions into the air from a source located in one country can be transported and deposited on the territory of another, sometimes over a distance of several thousand kilometers.

Changes in the natural composition of the atmosphere caused by human activities contribute to air pollution, and the magnitude of this pollution can only be determined by monitoring the atmospheric air. Organization of monitoring is important for assessing the air quality, for planning rational measures to improve air quality.

Air pollution monitoring is a system of regular long-term observations in space and time, providing information on the state of air pollution in order to assess the past, present and forecast in the future.

Monitoring of atmospheric air pollution allows registering the presence of pollutants and detecting their abnormal concentrations, as well as identifying pollution sources for taking immediate measures to reduce environmental pollution and mitigate harmful effects on public health.

Monitoring of atmospheric air pollution allows to ensure reliable control over the state of atmospheric air, which allows early warning of possible emergencies, which, as a rule, are preceded by small emissions, leaks or vapors of hazardous substances. In the event of emergency situations, information about the real situation will allow organizing effective measures to eliminate the consequences and reduce their impact on the population and the environment.

Information on Uzhydromet’s activities in terms of air pollution monitoring 

Uzhydromet monitors atmospheric air pollution in accordance with the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan No. 737 dated Sep.05, 2019 “On the improvement of the environmental monitoring system in the Republic of Uzbekistan” in 25 cities at 63 stationary observation points (Almalyk, Angren, Andijan, Bekabad, Bukhara, Gulistan, Denau, Kokand, Kagan, Karshi, Margilan, Mubarek, Navoi, Namangan, Nukus, Nurabad, Samarkand, Sariasiya, Tashkent, Urgench, Fergana, Chirchik, Shakhrisabz, Yangiyul). Up to 12 pollutants are monitored in the air at the observation sites. The urban air quality monitoring program tracks five main pollutants: dust (suspended solids), sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxide. Other pollutants (ammonia, phenol, formaldehyde, ozone, chlorine, solid fluorides, hydrogen fluoride, heavy metals) are added to the measurement programs depending on the composition of industrial emissions and the characteristics of nearby enterprises in the adjacent territories.

Observations of the atmospheric air state are performed daily at the intervals of 3 times a day (7:00; 13:00; 19:00 local time). Sampling at observation sites of Uzhydromet is done by the aspiration method, by pumping air through Richter absorbers and sorption tubes. Air samples are analyzed in 17 laboratories of Uzhydromet.

Air pollution monitoring posts of Uzhydromet are conditionally subdivided into urban “background” ones – inside residential areas, “industrial” ones – in the immediate vicinity of enterprises and “auto” ones – near highways.

Determining the concentration of harmful substances in the air is done in accordance with the established state standards, guidelines.