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27 March 2021, 08:02

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Photo by M. Denisov.

In terms of the level of air pollution, the Russian capital is one of the safest megacities in the world.

Moscow entered the list of 30 best capitals for air quality in world ranking for 2020… It is based on data on the content of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the atmosphere, these indicators come from ground-based monitoring stations to the online platform IQAir. The 2020 World Air Quality Report includes information on the state of the atmosphere from 92 cities.

PM2.5 – Airborne particles ranging in size from 0.001 to 2.5 micrometers. It is much thinner than a human hair, which is between 40 and 120 micrometers thick. Sources of PM2.5 are emissions from vehicles (mainly diesel), dust, particles arising from the operation of the roadway, tires and vehicle parts, electricity generation using coal and fuel oil, the operation of certain industries, and wildfires. 30 percent of suspended particles in the air are transported from outside Moscow.

When inhaled, particles enter the lungs and cardiovascular system, which leads to poor health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) standard, the lowest risk to humans has an average annual PM2.5 exposure below 10 micrograms (one millionth of a gram) per cubic meter.

In 2020, the highest average annual concentrations of PM2.5, according to the IQAir report, were observed in cities in East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The highest level is in Delhi, Dhaka and Ulaanbaatar.

The WHO targets for annual fine particles exceeded about half of European cities last year. At the same time, the content of PM2.5 in Eastern and Southern Europe is, as a rule, higher than in Western and Northern Europe.

In Moscow, the content of suspended particles, according to the IQAir report, in 2020 was 1.5-2.6 times lower than in Sofia, Belgrade, Pristina, Kiev, Athens, Warsaw, 22 percent lower than in Rome, by 11 percent lower than Paris.

Regular monitoring of the ecological situation in the city is carried out air quality control headquartersand other organizations.

Information on the state of the capital’s air comes from automatic stations for monitoring air pollution, meteorological complexes, analytical and mobile laboratories. They are located near highways, in residential and natural areas, as well as in areas under the influence of industrial enterprises.

The stations work around the clock. This allows you to receive real-time information and track any changes in air pollution. Data from monitoring stations are available on the website Mosecomonitoring.

Since 2013, the content of PM2.5 suspended particles in the air of Moscow has decreased by 1.5 times. In addition, in 2010, the concentration of carbon monoxide decreased 2.7 times, nitrogen dioxide – 1.3 times, nitrogen oxide – 2.5 times, sulfur dioxide – 1.7 times, suspended particles PM10 – 1.5 times.

The improvements in air quality have been achieved thanks to the measures taken in the capital. They include the creation of the city’s transport framework, the development of public transport, greening the fleet, modernization fuel and energy sector, reconstruction industrial enterprises, modernization treatment facilities, work on landscaping and improving the sanitary condition of the city.

The environmental policy of Moscow is highly appreciated at the international level. Recently, for the first time, the capital was included in the list of category A cities of the rating of an authoritative international organization. Carbon Disclosure Project… It forms a system of public disclosure of information on greenhouse gas emissions of cities, regions, companies, and also assesses their impact on global climate change.

In 2019, Moscow joined the WHO Regions for Health network as a city committed to implementing best practices for reducing health risks caused by non-medical factors. First of all, these are measures to improve air quality.

The city’s intentions to improve air quality are also enshrined in the C40 declaration (international network of cities – leaders in climate action) “Green and Healthy Streets”, which was signed by the Government of the capital at the International Climate Forum of Cities in Moscow.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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