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Why CART?


Founded August 2017

Annually, there are 7 million premature deaths in the world due to the air pollution (WHO 2014) which is the major environmental risk to human health according to World Health Organization (WHO). Among air pollutants, Particulate Matter (PM) is the main threat to human health. Long term exposure to PM may cause reduced lung function, bronchitis and premature death. Short term PM exposure has shown to be associated with asthma, acute bronchitis and respiratory malfunctions. The main sources of ambient PM include but are not limited to suspended dust, automobile traffic, agricultural activities, industrial emissions, and indoor activities such as cooking. Kazakhstan is the first energy consumer and contributor to various fossil-fuel emissions in Central Asia (World Energy Council 2007). It was reported that in 2014 the highest per capita household coal consumption occurred in Poland (165 kgoe/cap), followed by Kazakhstan (157 kgoe/cap) (Kerimray et a., 2017). Coal combustion produces considerable amount of PM, NO2 and SO2. A recent study by Kazakh National Medical University and American University of Washington DC estimated annually a minimum of 7500 premature deaths in Kazakhstan due to exposure to PM (Kenessariyev et al., 2013). Thus, there is a crucial need for the establishment of a proper air pollution monitoring network in Kazakhstan. Nonetheless, the analysis done by World Bank revealed that air quality monitoring network in Kazakhstan has many features that are out of date, and in many cases experiences unrepresentative sampling. The number of monitoring sites are low, and the selection of monitored pollutants does not comply with recognised priority pollutants (JERP and WB, 2013). Additionally, PM monitoring in Kazakhstan is still based on Total Suspended Particles (TSP) which has been long ago replaced with PM2.5 and PM10 in many regions of the world. An estimating method is used to convert TSP concentrations to PM10 and PM2.5 in Kazakhstan rather than direct measurements of PM10 and PM2.5. Ambient air quality in major cities of Kazakhstan is frequently above health standards. The European Union Air Quality, USEPA and WHO standards for PM10, and PM2.5 were exceeded in ten of the eleven pilot cities of Kazakhstan (JERP and WB, 2013). NO2 and SO2 concentrations also did not meet European Union standards (JERP and WB, 2013). The first and key step for the pollution prevention by decision makers is to have a reliable air quality monitoring which is one of the key missions of our team in Kazakhstan. The outcome of our projects provides necessary information for public health scientists to estimate health risk and health costs due to exposure to ambient air pollutants and develop environmental risk analysis. Social, energy and environmental scientists and economics will have better understanding of the impact of soci-economical variations in Kazakhstan on air pollution. Such variations could be the transformation of capital city from Almaty to Astana, EXPO event in Astana, implementations of Euro 4 standards on vehicles in Kazakhstan and change of energy sectors from coal to electricity. Air pollution control is a long-term and time-consuming program which requires involvement of many sectors of the country to overcome its social and economic effects. Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy assigns environmental quality as one of the necessary tools to improve the current socio-economy issues in Kazakhstan (Kazakhstanlive.com). Through this long-term strategy, Kazakhstan aims to be among top 30 developed countries with the aim of security and well-being of the citizens. To meet this goal, performing sustainable air quality monitoring is a requirement. Assessment of the current air quality level and climate forecasting for the future will raise the public awareness and help policy makers and governmental officials to design global programs throughout the country to keep the air quality under the recommended USA/European standards. Our mission is to share our expertise toward that goal. KazCART is an international level research group in Kazakhstan specializing on aerosol and air quality assessment, air monitoring and atmospheric sciences. We have made a world-class team and have been performing research with our international partners through variety of projects. For examples, currently we are running a project on evaluation of criteria pollutant concentrations including NO2, SO2, O3, CO, PM as well as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and CO2 in major cities of Kazakhstan using Satellite data. KazCART provides different services including but are not limited to “Research and Development”, local and global air quality monitoring and modeling, production of low-cost PM monitors, big data analysis and training academicians. We provide solutions to industrial sectors such as oil and gas, mining and power plant industries to optimize the plant operations leading to reduced atmospheric emissions. Our group has been already working with its international partners through variety of projects. We have integrated all our expertise in one direction to address broader issues in Kazakhstan.