Experts Report on the State of Air Quality in the Karaganda Region
On February 24, 2023, the Department of Sanitary and Epidemiological Control of the Karaganda region released a report on the state of atmospheric air in the area for 2022. The Karaganda region is a significant industrial area of the republic with a growing industrial potential that is having a technogenic impact on the environment. The department identified the main environmental polluters of the region to be the metallurgical complexes of ArcelorMittal Temirtau JSC, Kazakhmys Corporation LLP, and Kazakhmys Smelting LLP, as well as enterprises for the extraction and processing of minerals, mines, enterprises for the production of building materials, enterprises for the generation of heat energy, and emissions from motor vehicles and stove heating in the private sector.
To monitor the quality of the air, the territorial bodies of sanitary and epidemiological control of the Committee continuously conduct sanitary and epidemiological monitoring of atmospheric air, while employees of the branch of the Republican State Enterprise on the REM “National Center of Expertise” in the Karaganda region are involved in laboratory and instrumental studies of the qualitative composition of atmospheric air. The examination is carried out on 28 ingredients, including 12 I-II hazard class chemicals, which are constantly present or come from stationary and non-stationary sources of pollution in concentrations close to or exceeding the maximum permissible concentration (MAC).
The sanitary and epidemiological control bodies monitor enterprises that have sources of emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere with production laboratory control to account for emissions and the efficiency of dust and gas treatment facilities. At the end of 2022, the region examined 29,203 atmospheric air samples, an increase from 21,400 samples in the same period last year. Of these, 826 samples exceeded the maximum permissible concentration (MPC), which accounts for 2.8% of all samples tested, a decrease from 3.6% in 2021.
The percentage of pollutants in the air that exceeded the MPC in the area of them is 4.5% in the Kazybek bi of Karaganda, and 3% in A. Bokeykhan district of Karaganda and in Temirtau. The ingredients of atmospheric air that were found to be above the MPC include soot, suspended solids (dust), nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and ammonia.
Since the environment plays a significant role in determining the quality of life and state of health of individuals, it is essential to address the problem comprehensively at the level of interaction between interested state bodies and civil society. The Department of Sanitary and Epidemiological Control sends information about all non-conforming samples to local executive bodies and the Department of Ecology to take measures to improve the air basin of populated areas of the Karaganda region.