BAKU, Azerbaijan, October 31. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has released today a report "Air Quality in Bishkek: An assessment of emission sources and roadmap for supporting air quality management", Trend reports citing UNDP's press service.
The Finnish Meteorological Institute for UNDP and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) have carried out a study on key air pollution sources in Kygyzstan's capital Bishkek and impacts for the city.
According to the types and timing of emissions detected by the study, sulphur-rich coal used to heat homes is by far the main source of air pollution in Kyrgyzstan's capital.
Bishkek’s power plant may contribute less than 1 percent of ground-level concentrations of harmful particles known as PM2.5 and PM10, partly because its tall chimneys disperse pollution away from the city, the assessment finds.
"Meanwhile, 70 percent of homes in Kyrgyzstan are heated by coal, causing the most dangerous levels of fine particulate matter — PM2.5. These microscopic particles of air pollution can penetrate deep into the lungs, cross the lung barrier and enter the blood system, causing heart and respiratory diseases and lung cancer," the UNDP reports.
Furthermore, the study finds that during the winter heating season, the Kyrgyz capital is consistently ranked among the top five cities in the world with the most polluted air. The city's annual mean PM2.5 levels far exceed all national and international guidelines.