Causes and Influence of Air Pollution in Almaty

IntroductionAt the end of the 19th century, no one thought that there would be a problem of air pollution in Almaty. But, today air pollution is a serious problem for citizens of Almaty. According to World Health Organization recommendation, air pollution level in cities should not be higher than 10 mkg/m3 and the average daily level should not be higher than 25 mkg/m3 (WHO Air Quality Global update, 2005), whereas air pollution level in Almaty exceeds the norm by 4 times (Pavel Alexandrov’s research, November 2017).That’s why I have decided on this topic. Air pollution affects lives of all citizens by aggravating their health -it’s the reason of high level of respiratory diseases, problems with blood and nervous system among Almaty’s citizens, that’s why it’s important to give this problem first priority.To solve this ecological problem, we have to explore the origins and reasons behind its development.Air pollution is a serious problem, that modern humanity has faced in the last three centuries. It’s a modern-day curse, that affects all living organisms and nature.Air pollution occurs when harmful particles, for example, sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO) and other volatile organic compounds, get into air due to increasing urbanization and industrialization from factories and other industrial places.More than nine out of 10 of the world’s population – 92% – lives in places where air pollution exceeds safe limits, according to research from the World Health Organization (WHO, 2016).That’s why there is no place in the world, that wasn’t affected by it.Air pollution is a significant risk factor for a number of pollution-related diseases and health conditions, such as lung and stroke cancer, respiratory infections and heart disease. It may lead to increased need in therapy, medical help and even premature death.That’s why this theme is so important for every person. We experience this problem every day and the situation is only worsening. Air pollution isn’t a new problem. It started in the UK in the Industrial Revolution during the 18th and 19th centuries, because of the active use of coal and industrialization.Despite of the fact, that pollution exists for three centuries, humanity has only recently understood the importance of this global issue. Coalition for Clean Air, Sierra Club and Clean Air Task Force are on part of environmental organizations that are working to solve the problem of decreasing quality of the air.As a citizen of Almaty, I have been forced to contend with air pollution since childhood. According to the statistics, half of the whole population of Almaty has different forms of respiratory diseases (research by Nailya Konurkulzhaeva, 2017). That’s why I want to explore different causes and reasons of catastrophic ecological situation in Almaty. In appendix A there is Almaty’s photo that shows thick layer of smog (smoke+ fog) and provides evidence of problems with air quality in our town.This ecological condition appeared because of numerous factors, both anthropological (man-made) and natural. Key factor of pollution is Almaty’s location. The city is located in the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau Mountains, that’s why there’s a lack of air flow that leads to air being trapped over the city. I will examine other factors, mainly anthropological, and the way they affect nature and the reasons of their development.This assignment is based on a combination of primary and secondary research. I used primary research as a survey among students and teachers of Nazarbayev Intellectual School, to evaluate the level of awareness among citizens.I will consider how people affected quality of air in Almaty because of the low awareness, that lead to change in fauna and flora and health problems among population.The main aims for this project are as follows:To begin with, I will research this topic by using qualitative and quantitative research. Be using qualitative research I will gain an understanding of underlying motivations, opinions and reasons of air pollution in Almaty. This type of research will provide me an insight into the problem, that will later help me in developing hypothesis for potential quantitative research.Quantitative research, on its own, will help me to quantify the problem by collecting statistics, numerical data or data, that I will be able to transform into statistics. By using it, I will quantify citizens’ opinions, behaviors and attitudes toward ecological situation in Almaty.The use of both types of sources (primary and secondary) will bring both reliable information from official and independent researches, and opinions and attitudes of ordinary citizens, which will prove statistics. It allows to clarify the information from one method by another.Information for secondary research was mostly taken from sites, blogs and newspapers. The data about air pollution in Almaty was taken both from independent researches (Pavel Alexandrov, ) and newspapers ( to compare both points of view, their differences and similarities.As a primary research I used survey. The survey included different kinds of questions, by which I gained opinions and level of knowledge among citizens of Almaty, NIS students especially.Sample group was students of NIS, because we are the future specialists of Almaty and by analyzing this data and level of awareness among Almaty youth it will be possible to suggest path by which we could decrease level of air pollution in our city.The survey was done by using Google Forms ( It contained 10 questions. The questionnaire used both simple and complex questions to build a complete picture.ContextIt was important for research to use both primary and secondary sources. The comparative analysis of Almaty citizens’ view on ecology was made possible by conducting the survey.