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Atmospheric Air Pollution by Stationary Sources in Ulan-Ude (Buryatia, Russia) and Its Impact on Public Health

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For the first time in the territory of the Russian Far East, a study related to the establishment of correlations between air quality and public health in Ulan-Ude (Buryatia, Russia) was carried out. This study is based on the analysis of official medical statistics on morbidity over several years, the data on the composition and volume of emissions of harmful substances into the air from various stationary sources, and laboratory measurements of air pollutants in different locations in Ulan-Ude. This study confirmed that the morbidity of the population in Ulan-Ude has been increasing every year and it is largely influenced by air pollutants, the main of which are benzo(a)pyrene, suspended solids, PM2.5, PM10, and nitrogen dioxide. It was found that the greatest contribution to the unfavorable environmental situation is made by three types of stationary sources: large heating networks, autonomous sources (enterprises and small businesses), and individual households. The main air pollutants whose concentrations exceed the limits are benzo(a)pyrene, formaldehyde, suspended particles PM2.5, PM10, and nitrogen dioxide. A comprehensive assessment of the content of various pollutants in the atmospheric air showed that levels of carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risks to public health exceeded allowable levels. Priority pollutants in the atmosphere of Ulan-Ude whose concentrations create unacceptable levels of risk to public health are benzo(a)pyrene, suspended solids, nitrogen dioxide, PM2.5, PM10, formaldehyde, and black carbon. The levels of morbidity in Ulan-Ude were higher than the average for Buryatia by the main disease classes: respiratory organs—by 1.19 times, endocrine system—by 1.25 times, circulatory system—by 1.11 times, eye diseases—by 1.06 times, neoplasms—by 1.47 times, congenital anomalies, and deformations and chromosomal aberrations—by 1.63 times. There is an increase in the incidence of risk-related diseases of respiratory organs and the circulatory system. A strong correlation was found between this growth of morbidity and atmospheric air pollution in Ulan-Ude.
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Citation: Gomboev, B.O.; Dambueva,
I.K.; Khankhareev, S.S.;
Batomunkuev, V.S.; Zangeeva, N.R.;
Tsydypov, V.E.; Sharaldaev, B.B.;
Badmaev, A.G.; Zhamyanov, D.T.-D.;
Bagaeva, E.E.; et al. Atmospheric Air
Pollution by Stationary Sources in
Ulan-Ude (Buryatia, Russia) and Its
Impact on Public Health. Int. J.
Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19,
16385. https://doi.org/10.3390/
ijerph192416385
Academic Editor: Isidro A. Pérez
Received: 18 November 2022
Accepted: 30 November 2022
Published: 7 December 2022
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International Journal of
Environmental Research
and Public Health
Article
Atmospheric Air Pollution by Stationary Sources in Ulan-Ude
(Buryatia, Russia) and Its Impact on Public Health
Bair O. Gomboev 1, 2,*, Irina K. Dambueva 3, Sergey S. Khankhareev 4, Valentin S. Batomunkuev 1,
Natalya R. Zangeeva 1, Vitaly E. Tsydypov 1, Bayanzhargal B. Sharaldaev 1, Aldar G. Badmaev 1,
Daba Ts.-D. Zhamyanov 1, Elena E. Bagaeva 4, Ekaterina V. Madeeva 4, Marina A. Motoshkina 1,
Valentina G. Ayusheeva 1, Tumun Sh. Rygzynov 1, Aryuna B. Tsybikova 1, Alexander A. Ayurzhanaev 1,
Bator V. Sodnomov 1, Zorikto E. Banzaraktcaev 1, Aleksei V. Alekseev 1, Aryuna B. Lygdenova 1
and Beligma S. Norboeva 1
1Baikal Institute of Nature Management SB RAS, 670047 Ulan-Ude, Russia
2Department of Geography and Geoecology Chair, Faculty of Biology, Geography and Land Management,
Banzarov Buryat State University, 670000 Ulan-Ude, Russia
3Institute of Biological Problems of the North FEB RAS, 685000 Magadan, Russia
4Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare in
Buryatia (Rospotrebnadzor), 670045 Ulan-Ude, Russia
*Correspondence: bgom@binm.ru
Abstract:
For the first time in the territory of the Russian Far East, a study related to the establishment
of correlations between air quality and public health in Ulan-Ude (Buryatia, Russia) was carried out.
This study is based on the analysis of official medical statistics on morbidity over several years, the
data on the composition and volume of emissions of harmful substances into the air from various
stationary sources, and laboratory measurements of air pollutants in different locations in Ulan-Ude.
This study confirmed that the morbidity of the population in Ulan-Ude has been increasing every
year and it is largely influenced by air pollutants, the main of which are benzo(a)pyrene, suspended
solids, PM
2.5
, PM
10
, and nitrogen dioxide. It was found that the greatest contribution to the unfavor-
able environmental situation is made by three types of stationary sources: large heating networks,
autonomous sources (enterprises and small businesses), and individual households. The main air
pollutants whose concentrations exceed the limits are benzo(a)pyrene, formaldehyde, suspended
particles PM
2.5
, PM
10
, and nitrogen dioxide. A comprehensive assessment of the content of various
pollutants in the atmospheric air showed that levels of carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risks to
public health exceeded allowable levels. Priority pollutants in the atmosphere of Ulan-Ude whose
concentrations create unacceptable levels of risk to public health are benzo(a)pyrene, suspended
solids, nitrogen dioxide, PM
2.5
, PM
10
, formaldehyde, and black carbon. The levels of morbidity
in Ulan-Ude were higher than the average for Buryatia by the main disease classes: respiratory
organs—by 1.19 times, endocrine system—by 1.25 times, circulatory system—by 1.11 times, eye
diseases—by 1.06 times, neoplasms—by 1.47 times, congenital anomalies, and deformations and
chromosomal aberrations—by 1.63 times. There is an increase in the incidence of risk-related diseases
of respiratory organs and the circulatory system. A strong correlation was found between this growth
of morbidity and atmospheric air pollution in Ulan-Ude.
Keywords: atmospheric air pollutants; benzo(a)pyrene; public health risk; population morbidity
1. Introduction
Modern urbanization in the cities of Siberia and the Far East leads to increased emis-
sions of pollutants into the air [
1
4
]. The expansion of local pollution hotspots is becoming
a regional problem and the number of pollutants continues to increase. According to
international standards, the main pollutants are: fine suspended particles PM
2.5
and PM
10
,
sulfur dioxide (SO
2
), nitrogen dioxide (NO
2
), carbon oxide (CO), and ozone (O
3
) [
5
7
].
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 16385. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192416385 https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 16385 2 of 13
These air pollutants affect not only the air quality but also public health. PM
10
and PM
2.5
contain inhalable particles that are so small that they can penetrate the thoracic region of the
respiratory system and thereby cause respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity, increasing
the risk of cardiopulmonary mortality [
8
]. When SO
2
, NO
2
, and O
3
pollutants penetrate
the respiratory system, they cause chronic bronchitis, asthma, heart ischemia, and lung
cancer [
9
13
]. Urban air pollution has attracted a great deal of attention from both public
groups and governments at all levels [
14
]. Solving this problem has become an important
research task. Many studies deal with pollutant concentrations, temporal and seasonal
distribution, the influence of transport, and the correlation between atmospheric and mete-
orological factors [
15
,
16
]. The relationship between the level of mortality in Russian regions
from different causes and the level of atmospheric pollution has also been analyzed [17].
In 2021, the number of additional deaths from all causes related to atmospheric air pollution
in residential areas was probabilistically amounted to 4.6 cases per 100 thousand people on
average in Russia (or 0.31% of the actual mortality rate of the population of Russia). In the
territory of 15 Russian regions in 2021, population mortality from malignant neoplasms was
probabilistically associated with atmospheric air pollution, the number of additional cases was
in the range from 0.1 to 63.7 cases per 100 thousand population. Average Russian levels were
exceeded in the territories of nine regions in the range from 2.5 to 32.7 times. The highest
levels were recorded in Zabaikalsky Krai, Kemerovo Oblast, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Buryatia, and
Chelyabinsk Oblast (8.5–63.7 cases per 100 thousand population) [4,18].
In the settlements of Eastern Siberia, even in the absence of large industries with emis-
sion sources, the state of atmospheric air is unsatisfactory during the long heating period.
Ulan-Ude is the administrative center of the Republic of Buryatia; the city’s population
is 436,400 people. Ulan-Ude is annually included in the Priority List of Russian cities with
the highest level of air pollution according to the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology
and Environmental Monitoring (Rosgidromet). The average annual concentrations of
benzo(a)pyrene, suspended substances, PM
2.5
, PM
10
, and formaldehyde annually exceed
the maximum allowable concentrations [17,1926].
The greatest contribution to air pollution in Ulan-Ude is made by enterprises of the
fuel and energy complex (two central heating and power plants in Ulan-Ude—CHPP-1
and CHPP-2, large centralized boilers of the Ulan-Ude energy complex, which are part of
PAO “Territorial Generating Company No 14” and numerous small boilers), individual
households, and motor transport [2734].
Moreover, the climatic and topographic conditions (mountain and basin topography),
which are very unfavorable for the dispersion of impurities, contribute to the accumulation
of harmful substances in the surface layer of the atmosphere [
24
,
35
]. The territory of Ulan-
Ude refers to a zone of high air pollution potential (hereinafter—APP) where meteorological
conditions of pollutant dispersion in the atmosphere contribute to the transfer of harmful
substances over considerable distances [
36
]. Atmospheric air pollution in Ulan-Ude has
been worsening due to the expansion of household development in the suburban areas of
Tarbagataisky, Ivolginsky, and Zaigraevsky districts. Over the past decade, the number of
individual households with autonomous heating boilers and stoves has increased from
20,000 to 77,000, according to preliminary estimates. The Government of Buryatia, executive
authorities, and municipalities receive complaints from residents about air pollution during
the heating period.
The condition of atmospheric air is one of the priority environmental factors affecting
public health. High levels of atmospheric air pollution can cause diseases of the respiratory
organs, cardiovascular system, central nervous system, vision, blood, oncopathology, as
well as developmental and immune system disorders [37].
In this paper we attempt to establish a correlation between the morbidity of the
population of Ulan-Ude and atmospheric air pollution. This study aimed to establish the
impact of atmospheric air pollution from stationary sources on the health of the population
of Ulan-Ude.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 16385 3 of 13
The research objectives are as follows: (1) to analyze the data on the state of atmo-
spheric air pollution in Ulan-Ude; (2) to analyze the main sources of atmospheric air
pollution in Ulan-Ude as well as the additional research data on the use of fuel at au-
tonomous heating sources, i.e., individual households and small boilers of enterprises;
(3) to determine the levels of health risks for the population of Ulan-Ude when exposed
to polluted atmospheric air; (4) to analyze the morbidity indicators of the population of
Ulan-Ude and correlating them with the level of atmospheric air pollution.
2. Materials and Methods
In this study, we analyzed the composition and volume of emissions of pollutants
into the atmospheric air by economic entities according to the methodology approved
by Rosstat Order No. 661 dated 8 November 2018 “On Approval of the Methodology
for Statistical Observation of Atmospheric air Protection” (form No. 2-TP “Information
on atmospheric air protection”). We used data on the average annual concentrations of
pollutants in the atmospheric air of Ulan-Ude that were obtained from meteorological
stations that are operated by the Buryat Center for Hydrometeorology and Environmental
Monitoring (hereinafter—the Buryat CHEM) for 2011–2020. We also analyzed data on
atmospheric air pollution at monitoring sites in Ulan-Ude, measured by the experts of the
Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare in
Buryatia (Rospotrebnadzor).
As part of this study, the concentrations of pollutants in air emissions from households
were measured. The findings of this study are based not on calculation methods, but on
actual data that were obtained for the first time for Ulan-Ude. These data largely clarify
the composition and mass of pollutants that are emitted into the atmospheric air. Pollutant
emissions from conventional fuel combustion were measured for 6 days. Measurements
were taken during combustion and smoldering of fuel 3 times a day.
The tests of atmospheric air in different periods of the year were carried out in an
accredited laboratory of OOO “Occupational Safety and Health Certification Center” (Ac-
creditation certificate RA.RU.21AI87, issued on 5 July 2016). A total of 324 air samples were
taken during 54 surveys to measure the concentrations of pollutants.
All the measurements were made using methods that comply with Article 5 of the Fed-
eral Law No. 102 FZ “On Ensuring the Uniformity of Measurements”, using the following
state standards GOST 17.2.4.07–90 [
38
], GOST 17.2.4.06–90 [
39
]; and official measurement
methods: DKIN.413411.002 RE [
40
], GOST 33007–2014 [
41
], FR.1.31.2015.20718 (PNDF
13.1.76–15) [
42
,
43
]. Calibrated instruments included in the State Register of Measuring
Instruments were used [44].
The gross pollutant emission for each type of heat source and fuel type was calculated
using the following formula:
Gi=Мх·t·P·N·k, (1)
where М
х
is the pollutant emission rate (g/s), tis the total usage time of heat sources (h), P
is the share of a particular type of heat source, Nis the number of households, and kis the
unit conversion factor (hours into seconds).
The measured concentrations of pollutants were compared with the maximum allow-
able concentrations (MAC) approved by Decree of Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Russia No.
165 dated 22 December 2017 “On Approval of Hygienic Standards GN 2.1.6.3492–17 «Maxi-
mum allowable concentrations of pollutants in the air of urban and rural settlements»”.
We also geographically mapped the quantitative and qualitative composition of pollu-
tant emissions and the concentration fields (pollution maps) provided by the municipal
administration of Ulan-Ude. Analytical information from Rospotrebnadzor in Buryatia
on the morbidity rate in Ulan-Ude in 2011–2020 was used. The source data on population
morbidity were the statistical reporting forms No. 12 “Morbidity of patients residing in the
service area of a medical organization”. Correlation analysis of population morbidity and
atmospheric air pollution was performed in MS Excel.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 16385 4 of 13
3. Results
In this study, we analyzed data on atmospheric air pollution in Ulan–Ude for the
ten–year period (2011–2020). The monitoring of atmospheric air in Ulan-Ude was carried
out at three monitoring stations, operated by the Buryat CHEM, and seven monitoring
sites, surveyed by the experts of Rospotrebnadzor (Table 1).
Table 1. Locations of the air monitoring stations/sites in Ulan-Ude.
No Operator Type Location
1Buryat Center for
Hydrometeorology and
Environmental Monitoring
Monitoring
stations
Prospekt 50-letiya Oktyabrya (ASK-A No.1)
2 Ulitsa Revolutsii 1905 (ASK-A No.6)
3 Ulitsa Babushkina, section No.16 (ASK-A No.2)
4
Rospotrebnadzor Monitoring sites
Ulitsa Sovetskaya, 43; near school No.3 (Site 1)
5
Ulitsa Mokhovaya, 1; near kindergarten “Pchelka”, influence zone of
CHPP-1 (Site 2)
6Ulitsa Rodiny, 2; square in the influence zone of the boiler house of
Zagorsk (Site 3)
7 Prospekt Stroitelei, 20; near school No. 49 (Site 4)
8
Ulitsa Klyuchevskaya, 45B; near the Head Office of Rospotrebnadzor
in Buryatia (Site 5)
9Ulitsa Zabaikalskaya, 2, Silikatny; influence zone of the settlement’s
enterprises (Site 6)
10 Ulitsa Stroitelei, 19A, Zarechny; near kindergarten “Zorka” (Site 7)
In 2020 (according to the Buryat CHEM data), the average annual concentrations
in Ulan-Ude exceeded MACs for benzo(a)pyrene by 10.3 times, for suspended solids by
1.3 times, for nitrogen dioxide by 1.08 times, and for fine particulate matter PM
2.5
and PM
10
by 1.76 and 1.5 times, respectively. In 2020 relative to 2011, there was a 3.68-fold increase in
the average annual concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene, 2.0-fold increase in sulfur dioxide,
1.25-fold increase in phenol (25.0%), 1.92-fold increase in nitrogen dioxide (91.67%), and
a 1.08-fold increase in nitrogen oxide (7.5%). Also, in 2020 relative to 2017, there was a
1.31-fold (31.34%) increase in PM
2.5
concentrations and a 1.25-fold (25.0%) increase in PM
10
.
Over the entire study period (2011–2020), the average daily concentrations exceeded MACs
for benzo(a)pyrene by 2.8–11.95 times, suspended solids by 1.3–1.88 times, formaldehyde
by 1.1–2.3 times, nitrogen dioxide by 1.1–1.13 times, ozone by 1.07–1.53 times, PM
2.5
by
1.34–1.76 times, and PM10 by 1.07–1.5 times.
The Air Pollution Index (API) is an integral indicator calculated on the basis of the
average annual concentrations of pollutants, their MAC values, and the degree of their
danger. To compare the pollution levels in various localities and years, the API
5
index was
calculated for the average annual concentrations of the five most important air pollutants
(in accordance with the official regulatory document RD 52.04.667–2005, issued by Ros-
gidromet). An API in the range of 5–6 is regarded as elevated, 7–13—high, and
14—very
high. In Ulan-Ude for the period 2011–2020, there was an increase in API values from 10.0
to 37.1 (Table 2). In 2011–2012, the degree of air pollution was rated as “high”, and from
2013 to 2020 it was “very high”.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 16385 5 of 13
Table 2.
Dynamics of the average annual concentrations of pollutants, API, and degree of air pollution
in Ulan-Ude in 2011–2020 (according to the Buryat CHEM), in shares of MAC.
Pollutant Years Change by
2020 % Note
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Nitrogen dioxide 1 1.10 1.10 1.13 1.05 1 0.93 1 0.95 1.08 7.5
vs. 2011 year
Suspended matter 1.5 1.7 1.7 1.9 1.76 1.77 1.75 1.88 1.48 1.30 13.3
Carbon monoxide 0.5 0.50 0.50 0.43 0.20 0.13 0.17 0.17 0.19 0.17 66.7
Sulfur dioxide 0.1 0.10 0.10 0.17 0.18 0.2 0.26 0.36 0.29 0.20 100.0
Formaldehyde 2 2.30 2.30 1.78 1.10 1.1 1.00 1.30 1.2 0.50 75.0
Phenol 0.8 0.90 0.90 0.80 0.66 1 1 1 0.56 1.00 25.0
Benzo(a)pyrene 2.8 2.8 4 7.7 7.22 6.8 7.6 10.2 11.95 10.30 367.9
Nitrogen oxide 0.2 0.20 0.20 0.56 0.36 0.23 0.32 0.42 0.41 0.20 0
Ozone 1.53 1.23 0.9 1.07 1.17 0.73 52.1 vs. 2015 year
Ammonia 0.20 0.35 0.2 0.10 0.02 0.02 90.0 vs. 2015 year
Black carbon 1.04 0.86 0.28 0.34 0.48 0.38 63.5 vs. 2015 year
PM10 1.2 1.13 1.07 1.50 25.0 vs. 2017 year
PM2.5 1.34 1.37 1.34 1.76 31.3 vs. 2017 year
API510.0 12.4 14.6 27.3 25.2 22.9 25.6 38.0 46.3 37.1 371 vs. 2011 year
Degree of air
pollution High High Very
high
Very
high
Very
high
Very
high
Very
high
Very
high
Very
high
Very
high
’—data not available.
The monitoring data since 2015 indicate that the most intense air pollution in Ulan-Ude
is observed during the heating season, especially under adverse meteorological conditions
(hereinafter referred to as AWC). According to the Buryat CHEM data, in January 2020,
during the AWC period, benzo(a)pyrene concentrations exceeded the average daily MAC
by 57.2 times (at the monitoring station on ulitsa Babushkina). In January 2020, the average
daily concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene in Ulan-Ude exceeded MAC by 30.0 times, and in
March—by 7.5 times (Figure 1).
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, x FOR PEER REVIEW 5 of 13
high. In Ulan-Ude for the period 2011–2020, there was an increase in API values from 10.0
to 37.1 (Table 2). In 2011–2012, the degree of air pollution was rated as high”, and from
2013 to 2020 it was “very high”.
Table 2. Dynamics of the average annual concentrations of pollutants, API, and degree of air pollu-
tion in Ulan-Ude in 2011–2020 (according to the Buryat CHEM), in shares of MAC.
Pollutant Years Change
by 2020 % Note
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Nitrogen dioxide 1 1.10 1.10 1.13 1.05 1 0.93 1 0.95 1.08 7.5
vs. 2011 year
Suspended mat-
ter 1.5 1.7 1.7 1.9 1.76 1.77 1.75 1.88 1.48 1.30 13.3
Carbon monox-
ide 0.5 0.50 0.50 0.43 0.20 0.13 0.17 0.17 0.19 0.17 66.7
Sulfur dioxide 0.1 0.10 0.10 0.17 0.18 0.2 0.26 0.36 0.29 0.20 100.0
Formaldehyde 2 2.30 2.30 1.78 1.10 1.1 1.00 1.30 1.2 0.50 75.0
Phenol 0.8 0.90 0.90 0.80 0.66 1 1 1 0.56 1.00 25.0
Benzo(a)pyrene 2.8 2.8 4 7.7 7.22 6.8 7.6 10.2 11.95 10.30 367.9
Nitrogen oxide 0.2 0.20 0.20 0.56 0.36 0.23 0.32 0.42 0.41 0.20 0
Ozone 1.53 1.23 0.9 1.07 1.17 0.73 52.1 vs. 2015 year
Ammonia 0.20 0.35 0.2 0.10 0.02 0.02 90.0 vs. 2015 year
Black carbon 1.04 0.86 0.28 0.34 0.48 0.38 63.5 vs. 2015 year
РМ
10
1.2 1.13 1.07 1.50 25.0 vs. 2017 year
РМ
2.5
1.34 1.37 1.34 1.76 31.3 vs. 2017 year
API
5
10.0 12.4 14.6 27.3 25.2 22.9 25.6 38.0 46.3 37.1 371 vs. 2011 year
Degree of air pol-
lution High High Very
high
Very
high
Very
high
Very
high
Very
high
Very
high
Very
high
Very
high
‘—data not available.
The monitoring data since 2015 indicate that the most intense air pollution in Ulan-
Ude is observed during the heating season, especially under adverse meteorological con-
ditions (hereinafter referred to as AWC). According to the Buryat CHEM data, in January
2020, during the AWC period, benzo(a)pyrene concentrations exceeded the average daily
MAC by 57.2 times (at the monitoring station on ulitsa Babushkina). In January 2020, the
average daily concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene in Ulan-Ude exceeded MAC by 30.0 times,
and in March—by 7.5 times (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Annual dynamics of benzo(a)pyrene concentrations in the air of Ulan-Ude in 2016–2020,
measured at the air monitoring stations (operated by the Buryat CHEM), shares of MAC.
Figure 1.
Annual dynamics of benzo(a)pyrene concentrations in the air of Ulan-Ude in 2016–2020,
measured at the air monitoring stations (operated by the Buryat CHEM), shares of MAC.
According to the Directorate of Rospotrebnadzor in Buryatia, during the study period,
the average daily concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene exceeded MAC in the 20th city blocks
by 29.5 times, on ulitsa Tereshkovoi by 1.3 times, in Istok by 4.8 times, in Energetik by
8.5 times, in Gorky by 17.2 times, and on ulitsa Kluchevskaya by 33.6 times. According to
long-term data, the highest level of air pollution in Ulan-Ude is registered annually in the
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 16385 6 of 13
cold period of the year due to increased emissions of pollutants from small boiler facilities
and autonomous heating sources, including individual households, located around the
city and in its central part. The ranking of monitoring sites in Ulan-Ude by the coefficient
of total air pollution (K
sum
) for 2011–2021 showed that in the cold period of the year,
pollution is rated as “very high” in Zarechny, Kirzavod, ulitsa Revolutsii 1905, and ulitsa
Klyuchevskaya. During the warm period of the year, air pollution at all monitoring sites is
rated as “moderate”.
The territory of Ulan-Ude refers to a zone of high air pollution potential where meteo-
rological conditions of pollutant dispersion in the atmosphere contribute to the transfer of
harmful substances over considerable distances. According to the data of the Institute of
Physical Materials Science SB RAS, the probability of temperature inversions in the lower
100-m layer of the atmosphere is 77%. Under such conditions, emissions from industrial
facilities and autonomous heat sources are poorly dispersed, creating high concentrations
of harmful substances in the surface layer of the atmosphere in the city limits.
Analysis of climatic data for Ulan-Ude, provided by the Buryat CHEM, and quanti-
tative assessment of various factors indicate the predominance of processes that hinder
atmospheric purification. In general, the meteorological potential of self-purification of
the atmosphere in Ulan-Ude is low. It requires effective measures to limit emissions of
pollutants into the atmosphere.
This study examined three groups of stationary sources of emissions of harmful
substances into the air of Ulan-Ude during the heating season of 2020/2021: (1) large heating
networks (CHPP-1, CHPP-2; large, centralized boilers of the Ulan-Ude energy complex,
which are part of PAO “Territorial Generating Company No 14”); (2) autonomous sources
(enterprises and small businesses); and (3) individual households. The total emissions from
these sources during the period amounted to 83.8 thousand tons of pollutants (Table 3).
Table 3.
Air emissions of pollutants from stationary sources in Ulan-Ude during the heating season
of 2020/2021 (thousand tons).
No. Type of Stationary Source Mass (Thousand Tons) wt.%
1 Large heating networks (fuel and energy complex) 18.0 21.5
2 Autonomous sources (enterprises and small businesses) 2.0 2.4
3 Individual households 63.8 76.1
4 Total 83.8 100
As can be seen from Table 3, individual households make the greatest contribution
to the overall air pollution. In Ulan-Ude and its suburbs, there are 207 settlements and
neighborhoods with 77,607 households, 77.7% of which use wood-burning stoves, and
22.3% use boilers. The total pollutant emissions from households in Ulan-Ude and its
suburbs (by administrative boundaries) during the heating season 2020/2021 are shown
in Table 4.
The experts of Rospotrebnadzor in Buryatia assessed the risk to public health on
the basis of data on the average annual concentrations of air pollutants measured at
monitoring stations. In 2020, chronic inhalation exposure to pollutants could cause disease
in the population of Ulan-Ude: respiratory system (hazard index HI = 10.8, with the
permissible value of 1), blood diseases (HI = 1.7), vision diseases (HI = 1.67), fetal growth
disorders (
HI = 12.0
), immune system (HI = 11.9), increased mortality (HI = 5.5), and
tumors (HI = 10.3) (Figure 2).
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 16385 7 of 13
Table 4.
Total pollutant emissions from households in Ulan-Ude and its suburbs per year (during the
heating season 2020/2021.
Area Pollutant
Benzo(a)pyrene Nitrogen
Oxides (NOX)
Sulfur
Dioxide (SO2)
Particulate
Matter
Carbon
Monoxide
(CO)
Total
kg Thousand Tons
Ulan-Ude 10.29 0.22 7.33 25.87 5.85 39.27
Ulan-Ude suburb, located in
Tarbagataisky District 1.04 0.02 0.74 2.61 0.59 3.96
Ulan-Ude suburb, located in
Ivolginsky District 3.53 0.07 2.52 8.88 2.01 13.48
Ulan-Ude suburb, located in
Zaigraevsky District 1.84 0.04 1.31 4.63 1.05 7.03
Total 16.7 0.36 11.9 41.99 9.5 63.75
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, x FOR PEER REVIEW 7 of 13
Table 4. Total pollutant emissions from households in Ulan-Ude and its suburbs per year (during
the heating season 2020/2021.
Area Pollutant
Benzo(a)pyrene Nitrogen
Oxides (NOX)
Sulfur
Dioxide (SO2)
Particulate
Matter
Carbon
Monoxide
(CO)
Total
kg Thousand Tons
Ulan-Ude 10.29 0.22 7.33 25.87 5.85 39.27
Ulan-Ude suburb, located
in Tarbagataisky District 1.04 0.02 0.74 2.61 0.59 3.96
Ulan-Ude suburb, located
in Ivolginsky District 3.53 0.07 2.52 8.88 2.01 13.48
Ulan-Ude suburb, located
in Zaigraevsky District 1.84 0.04 1.31 4.63 1.05 7.03
Total 16.7 0.36 11.9 41.99 9.5 63.75
The experts of Rospotrebnadzor in Buryatia assessed the risk to public health on the
basis of data on the average annual concentrations of air pollutants measured at monitor-
ing stations. In 2020, chronic inhalation exposure to pollutants could cause disease in the
population of Ulan-Ude: respiratory system (hazard index HI = 10.8, with the permissible
value of 1), blood diseases (HI = 1.7), vision diseases (HI = 1.67), fetal growth disorders
(HI = 12.0), immune system (HI = 11.9), increased mortality (HI = 5.5), and tumors (HI =
10.3) (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Hazard indices (HI) of non-carcinogenic risk to public health in Ulan-Ude with unidirec-
tional effects of atmospheric air pollutants on human organs and systems in 2011–2020.
The hazard indices of non-carcinogenic risks to the health of the population of Ulan-
Ude exceeded the permissible levels due to the content of pollutants in the air such as
benzo(a)pyrene (HQ = 10.3), formaldehyde (HQ = 1.7), suspended solids (HQ = 1.7), PM10
(HQ = 1.5), PM2.5 (HQ = 1.8), and nitrogen dioxide (HQ = 1.1).
The level of individual carcinogenic risk for the population of Ulan-Ude was 1.62 ×
104, which is considered acceptable for professional groups and unacceptable for the
population. Priority pollutants in the atmospheric air that formed the carcinogenic risk
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Hazard Index (HI)
Respiratory system
Blood diseases
Eye diseases
Fetal growth disorders
Immune system
Increased mortality
Tumors
Permissible
Figure 2.
Hazard indices (HI) of non-carcinogenic risk to public health in Ulan-Ude with unidirec-
tional effects of atmospheric air pollutants on human organs and systems in 2011–2020.
The hazard indices of non-carcinogenic risks to the health of the population of Ulan-
Ude exceeded the permissible levels due to the content of pollutants in the air such as
benzo(a)pyrene (HQ = 10.3), formaldehyde (HQ = 1.7), suspended solids (HQ = 1.7), PM
10
(HQ = 1.5), PM2.5 (HQ = 1.8), and nitrogen dioxide (HQ = 1.1).
The level of individual carcinogenic risk for the population of Ulan-Ude was
1.62 ×104
,
which is considered “acceptable for professional groups and unacceptable for the population”.
Priority pollutants in the atmospheric air that formed the carcinogenic risk were black carbon
(52.1%, CR = 0.84 ×104) and formaldehyde (40.7%, CR = 0.66 ×104) (Figure 3).
Statistics for the period 2011–2020 show that for some risk-related diseases, the mor-
bidity of the population in Ulan-Ude exceeds the average figures for the Republic of
Buryatia. The total morbidity rate in Ulan-Ude was 1.2 times higher than the average
in Buryatia and amounted to 77,077.63 cases per 100 thousand people (63,985.43 cases
per 100 thousand people in Buryatia). Respiratory system morbidity in Ulan-Ude was
34,154.29 cases per 100 thousand people, which is 1.19 times higher than the average for
Buryatia (28,648.46 per 100 thousand people). Corresponding exceedances were registered
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 16385 8 of 13
for the diseases of endocrine system by 1.25 times, circulatory system by 1.11 times, eye
diseases by 1.06 times, neoplasms by 1.47 times, and congenital anomalies, deformities,
and chromosomal abnormalities by 1.63 times (Table 5).
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, x FOR PEER REVIEW 8 of 13
were black carbon (52.1%, CR = 0.84 × 104) and formaldehyde (40.7%, CR = 0.66 × 104)
(Figure 3).
Figure 3. The level of individual carcinogenic risk to public health from exposure to pollutants in
the atmospheric air of Ulan-Ude, 2011–2020 (CR × 104). Permissible level CR = 1 × 104.
Statistics for the period 2011–2020 show that for some risk-related diseases, the mor-
bidity of the population in Ulan-Ude exceeds the average figures for the Republic of Bury-
atia. The total morbidity rate in Ulan-Ude was 1.2 times higher than the average in Bury-
atia and amounted to 77,077.63 cases per 100 thousand people (63,985.43 cases per 100
thousand people in Buryatia). Respiratory system morbidity in Ulan-Ude was 34,154.29
cases per 100 thousand people, which is 1.19 times higher than the average for Buryatia
(28,648.46 per 100 thousand people). Corresponding exceedances were registered for the
diseases of endocrine system by 1.25 times, circulatory system by 1.11 times, eye diseases
by 1.06 times, neoplasms by 1.47 times, and congenital anomalies, deformities, and chro-
mosomal abnormalities by 1.63 times (Table 5).
Table 5. Comparative characteristics of morbidity in Ulan-Ude and Buryatia for 2011–2020.
Disease Classes
Ulan-Ude Buryatia
Excess Rate
(Ulan-Ude vs.
Buryatia
Cases, per
100,000 People
% of Total
Morbidity
Cases, per
100,000 People
% of Total
Morbidity
Respiratory organs 34,154.29 44.31 28,648.46 44.77 1.19
Congenital anomalies, deformities,
and chromosomal abnormalities 151.53 0.20 92.74 0.14 1.63
Diseases of the eye 3149.95 4.09 2977.82 4.65 1.06
Circulatory system 2837.52 3.68 2551.25 3.99 1.11
Blood and hematopoietic organs 383.85 0.50 462.3 0.72 0.83
Neoplasms 1073.08 1.39 731.89 1.14 1.47
Endocrine system 1673.95 2.17 1338.39 2.09 1.25
Others 33,653.46 43.66 27,182.58 42.5 1.24
Total 77,077.63 100.00 63,985.43 100.00 1.20
Figure 3.
The level of individual carcinogenic risk to public health from exposure to pollutants in the
atmospheric air of Ulan-Ude, 2011–2020 (CR ×104). Permissible level CR = 1 ×104.
Table 5. Comparative characteristics of morbidity in Ulan-Ude and Buryatia for 2011–2020.
Disease Classes
Ulan-Ude Buryatia Excess Rate
(Ulan-Ude
vs. Buryatia
Cases, per 100,000
People
% of Total
Morbidity
Cases, per 100,000
People
% of Total
Morbidity
Respiratory organs 34,154.29 44.31 28,648.46 44.77 1.19
Congenital anomalies, deformities,
and chromosomal abnormalities 151.53 0.20 92.74 0.14 1.63
Diseases of the eye 3149.95 4.09 2977.82 4.65 1.06
Circulatory system 2837.52 3.68 2551.25 3.99 1.11
Blood and hematopoietic organs 383.85 0.50 462.3 0.72 0.83
Neoplasms 1073.08 1.39 731.89 1.14 1.47
Endocrine system 1673.95 2.17 1338.39 2.09 1.25
Others 33,653.46 43.66 27,182.58 42.5 1.24
Total 77,077.63 100.00 63,985.43 100.00 1.20
According to Rospotrebnadzor in Buryatia, in 2020 the morbidity structure was as
follows: respiratory diseases—46.9%; injuries, poisonings, and accidents—11.6%; digestive
diseases—4.3%; skin diseases—3.6%; and diseases of the urogenital system and circulatory
system—3.5% each (Figure 4) [45].
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 16385 9 of 13
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, x FOR PEER REVIEW 9 of 13
According to Rospotrebnadzor in Buryatia, in 2020 the morbidity structure was as
follows: respiratory diseases—46.9%; injuries, poisonings, and accidents—11.6%; diges-
tive diseases—4.3%; skin diseases3.6%; and diseases of the urogenital system and cir-
culatory system—3.5% each (Figure 4) [45].
Figure 4. Structure of morbidity in Ulan-Ude in 2020, %.
Respiratory diseases account for the largest share of the total morbidity rate in Ulan-
Ude and Buryatia, both for 2020 and over a multi-year period. The morbidity of the pop-
ulation of Ulan-Ude during the period from 2011 to 2020 has increased for respiratory
diseases by 11.5%, and by 8.35% for diseases of the circulatory system (Table 6).
To establish the correlation between air pollution and the growth of morbidity in
Ulan-Ude, a correlation analysis was carried out with a small number of observations
(n=10 years). To assess the strength of the correlation, we used the generally accepted cri-
teria: correlation coefficient r
xy
< 0.3 indicates a weak correlation, 0.3 r
xy
< 0.7—average
correlation, and 0.7 r
xy
—very high correlation. The correlation reliability criterion was
calculated as follows: t
r
= r
xy
/m
r
, where m
r
is the mean error. A correlation is considered
reliable if t
r
3.
Table 6. Dynamics of population morbidity in Ulan-Ude for 2011–2020 (cases per 100,000 popula-
tion).
Disease Classes Year
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Respiratory diseases 32,359.0 33,397.4 34,231.0 34,771.6 32,409.9 33,925.6 33,569.7 34,956.3 35,842.1 36,080.3
Congenital anomalies, de-
formities, and chromosomal
abnormalities
206.7 193.1 211.0 217.3 89.5 120.2 124.7 120.9 116.6 115.3
Diseases of the eye 4127.7 3529.2 3116 3937.1 3445.2 2735.6 2880.8 2638.3 2725.4 2364.2
Circulatory system 2491.7 2351.8 2549.8 2560.7 2669.9 3140.1 3174.1 3221.6 3515.8 2699.7
Blood and hematopoietic or-
gans 338.3 387.5 405.5 389.8 391.0 408.6 436.8 424.1 396.9 260.0
Neoplasms 1085.8 1197.1 1114.0 1219.1 1058.6 1073.7 1037.8 969.3 1078.5 896.9
Endocrine system 1756.7 1687.9 1661.5 1854.1 1620.7 1727.5 1838.5 1456.4 1803.9 1332.3
Others 38,095.5
38,209.5
0 34,916.3 38,096.3 29,526.0 30,417.6 31,912.1 31,065.2 31,038.7 33,257.4
Total morbidity 80,461.4 80,953.5 78,205.1 83,046.0 71,210.8 73,548.9 74,974.5 74,852.1 76,517.9 77,006.1
46.9
4.3
3.6
2.8
3.5
11.6
20.7
3.1 3.5
Respiratory System Digestive System Skin Diseases
Musculoskeletal System Genitourinary System Traumas, Poisonings
Other Eye Diseases Circulatory System
Figure 4. Structure of morbidity in Ulan-Ude in 2020, %.
Respiratory diseases account for the largest share of the total morbidity rate in Ulan-
Ude and Buryatia, both for 2020 and over a multi-year period. The morbidity of the
population of Ulan-Ude during the period from 2011 to 2020 has increased for respiratory
diseases by 11.5%, and by 8.35% for diseases of the circulatory system (Table 6).
Table 6.
Dynamics of population morbidity in Ulan-Ude for 2011–2020 (cases per 100,000 population).
Disease Classes Year
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Respiratory diseases 32,359.0 33,397.4 34,231.0 34,771.6 32,409.9 33,925.6 33,569.7 34,956.3 35,842.1 36,080.3
Congenital anomalies, deformities, and
chromosomal abnormalities 206.7 193.1 211.0 217.3 89.5 120.2 124.7 120.9 116.6 115.3
Diseases of the eye 4127.7 3529.2 3116 3937.1 3445.2 2735.6 2880.8 2638.3 2725.4 2364.2
Circulatory system 2491.7 2351.8 2549.8 2560.7 2669.9 3140.1 3174.1 3221.6 3515.8 2699.7
Blood and hematopoietic organs 338.3 387.5 405.5 389.8 391.0 408.6 436.8 424.1 396.9 260.0
Neoplasms 1085.8 1197.1 1114.0 1219.1 1058.6 1073.7 1037.8 969.3 1078.5 896.9
Endocrine system 1756.7 1687.9 1661.5 1854.1 1620.7 1727.5 1838.5 1456.4 1803.9 1332.3
Others 38,095.5 38,209.50 34,916.3 38,096.3 29,526.0 30,417.6 31,912.1 31,065.2 31,038.7 33,257.4
Total morbidity 80,461.4 80,953.5 78,205.1 83,046.0 71,210.8 73,548.9 74,974.5 74,852.1 76,517.9 77,006.1
To establish the correlation between air pollution and the growth of morbidity in
Ulan-Ude, a correlation analysis was carried out with a small number of observations
(n=10 years). To assess the strength of the correlation, we used the generally accepted
criteria: correlation coefficient r
xy
< 0.3 indicates a weak correlation, 0.3
r
xy
< 0.7—average
correlation, and 0.7
r
xy
—very high correlation. The correlation reliability criterion was
calculated as follows: tr= rxy /mr, where mris the mean error. A correlation is considered
reliable if tr3.
The correlation coefficient between the atmospheric air pollution index (API
5
) and
the incidence of respiratory diseases in Ulan-Ude is r
xy
= 0.7784 (m
r
= 0.2219, t
r
= 3.5068,
n = 10
), indicating that the two data sets are strongly correlated. The correlation coefficient
between API
5
and the incidence of circulatory system diseases is r
xy
= 0.7437 (m
r
= 0.2363,
tr= 3.1471, n = 10), which also indicates a strong correlation between the two data series.
4. Discussion
It has been established that the degree of atmospheric air pollution in Ulan-Ude
is estimated as very high. Over the past decade, the atmospheric pollution index has
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 16385 10 of 13
increased by 3.71 times due to high concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene, PM
2.5
, PM
10
, and
nitrogen dioxide [4547].
The high level of atmospheric pollution is caused by emissions from CHPPs that
operate year-round, as well as emissions from autonomous heat sources of individual
households during the heating period. The growing number of households with au-
tonomous heating, the increasing amount of coal burned, and the lack of opportunities to
use alternative sources of thermal energy, combined with the low potential for dispersion
of harmful impurities in the atmosphere leads to increased air pollution in Ulan-Ude, both
in its central part and in the suburbs.
The assessment showed that atmospheric air pollution in Ulan-Ude poses an increased
risk to public health. Concentrations of pollutants in the atmospheric air have been found
to present elevated levels of non-carcinogenic risk to public health, exceeding permissible
values from 1.1 to 12 times. Chronic inhalation exposure to pollutants may cause health
disorders of the population of Ulan-Ude from the respiratory organs, immune system,
disorders of fetal development, neoplasms, diseases of the vision, blood diseases, and
increased mortality. The level of individual carcinogenic risk exceeds the permissible
level for the population of Ulan-Ude by 1.62 times and is estimated as “acceptable for
professional groups and unacceptable for the population as a whole”.
Analysis of the morbidity in the Ulan-Ude population revealed an increase in the
incidence of risk-related diseases such as the respiratory organs and circulatory system.
Their strong correlation with atmospheric air pollution in Ulan-Ude was established.
Thus, this study analyzed the data on emissions of pollutants into the atmospheric
air from stationary sources, statistics on the morbidity of the population over the past
decade, and the results of measurements of air quality (both at the monitoring stations and
monitoring sites in micro-districts of Ulan-Ude). The results of the study confirmed that
the morbidity of the population in Ulan-Ude has been increasing, and this is largely due to
very high pollution of the atmospheric air.
In order to reduce carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risks to public health in Ulan-
Ude, the Directorate of Rospotrebnadzor in Buryatia has established cooperation with
executive bodies and local authorities. In 2020, amendments were made to the regulatory
and legal acts of the Republic of Buryatia to prohibit the use of autonomous sources of
pollutant emissions into the atmosphere when there is a technical possibility of connecting
to centralized heating networks. As a result of significant efforts made by the executive and
legislative branches of the Republic of Buryatia, the city of Ulan-Ude has been included
in the list of settlements in which the experimental quoting of pollutant emissions to
the atmospheric air is carried out based on the integrated calculations of atmospheric
air pollution (according to the Russian Federation Government Decree of 7 July 2022
No. 1852-r
). The Directorate of Rospotrebnadzor in Buryatia initiated the updating of the
summary calculations of atmospheric air pollution in Ulan-Ude, on the basis of which
management decisions will be made in the framework of the federal project “Clean Air”.
5. Conclusions
1.
In Ulan-Ude, there has been a 3.71-fold increase in air pollution over the period of
2011–2020. In 2011–2012, the degree of air pollution was assessed as “High”, and from
2013 to 2020—as “Very High”. Priority pollutants whose concentrations exceed MAC
are benzo(a)pyrene, PM2.5, PM10, suspended solids, and nitrogen dioxide.
2.
The main stationary sources of atmospheric air pollution are large enterprises of the
fuel and energy complex, autonomous heat supply sources of small enterprises, and
individual households (which make the greatest contribution to the air pollution).
There has been an increase in the number of households with autonomous sources
of heating.
3.
Chronic inhalation exposure to pollutants may cause health disorders of the popu-
lation of Ulan-Ude from the respiratory organs, immune system, disorders of fetal
development, neoplasms, diseases of the vision, blood diseases, and increased mor-
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022,19, 16385 11 of 13
tality. The concentrations of pollutants in the atmospheric air have been found to
present elevated levels of non-carcinogenic risk to public health, exceeding permissi-
ble values from 1.1 to 12 times. The level of individual carcinogenic risk exceeds the
permissible level for the population of Ulan-Ude by 1.62 times. Priority pollutants in
the atmosphere of Ulan-Ude whose concentrations create unacceptable levels of risk
to public health are benzo(a)pyrene, suspended solids, nitrogen dioxide, PM
2.5
, PM
10
,
formaldehyde, and black carbon.
4.
The levels of morbidity in Ulan-Ude were higher than the average for Buryatia by the
main disease classes: respiratory organs by 1.19 times, endocrine system by 1.25 times,
circulatory system by 1.11 times, eye diseases by 1.06 times, neoplasms by 1.47 times,
congenital anomalies, and deformations and chromosomal aberrations by 1.63 times.
There is an increase in the incidence of risk-related diseases of the respiratory organs
and circulatory system. A strong correlation was found between this growth of
morbidity and atmospheric air pollution in Ulan-Ude.
Author Contributions:
Conceptualization, B.O.G. and I.K.D.; methodology, I.K.D., S.S.K., E.E.B.
and E.V.M.; software, B.B.S., A.G.B., D.T.-D.Z., M.A.M., T.S.R., A.B.T., Z.E.B. and A.V.A.; validation,
B.O.G., I.K.D., N.R.Z., V.E.T., A.A.A. and B.V.S.; formal analysis, S.S.K., V.S.B., N.R.Z., V.E.T., B.B.S.,
A.G.B., D.T.-D.Z., M.A.M., V.G.A., T.S.R., A.B.T., A.A.A., B.V.S., Z.E.B., A.V.A., E.E.B., E.V.M., A.B.L.
and B.S.N.; investigation, B.O.G., S.S.K., V.S.B., E.E.B. and E.V.M.; resources, B.O.G. and V.S.B.; data
curation, B.O.G., V.S.B., D.T.-D.Z. and V.G.A.; writing—original draft preparation, I.K.D. and V.S.B.;
writing—review and editing, B.O.G.; visualization, V.S.B., N.R.Z., A.G.B., D.T.-D.Z., A.A.A. and
B.V.S.; supervision, B.O.G.; project administration, B.O.G.; funding acquisition, B.O.G. All authors
have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.
Funding:
This research was carried out within the framework of the budget projects of Baikal Institute
of Nature Management, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Institutional Review Board Statement: Not applicable.
Informed Consent Statement: Not applicable.
Data Availability Statement: Not applicable.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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