Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Micheal P. Eriksen, Sc.D

Second Advisor

John Steward, MPH

Abstract

During the last 10 years, air pollution has become one of the major public health problems in Ulaanbaatar city of Mongolia, and concentrations of pollutants were measured 3 to 50 times higher than WHO recommendation. This devastating air pollution is produced mostly by thousands of families who migrated from countryside and live in gers (traditional dwellings) in the suburban area which is not connected to the central heating system, and nearly all of them burn coal to keep them warm. Due to air pollution, residents living in Ulaanbaatar city suffer health problems that equal to the smoking of 4-5 packs of cigarettes. During the winter time, PM10 hourly average concentrations increased to 2,300 μg/m3, and daily average became over than 1,000 μg/m3 in the most polluted parts of the city. At present, Mongolian government has accepted that the health of Mongolian residents has deteriorated at an alarming level.

In January of 2011, Mongolian Parliament approved the Law on Reduction of Air Pollution in the Capital City to control air pollution and eliminate the gaps in practice. One main provision of this law was to improve ger district electricity transmission and distribution network and reduce the night-time price of electricity by 50 percent. Therefore, this study aimed to estimate direct health benefits of Government Provision on cutting electricity payment by 50 percent during the night time and analyze the efficiency of this program on reducing air pollution and its related health impact.

The study result showed when this new regulation is fully implemented in the ger districts, the annual consumption of coal and wood would be decreased by about 550,000 tons and 415,000 tons, accompanied by massive reduction of the emission. These changes would lead into noteworthy health benefits such as 15.7 and 17.4 percent of reduction of total and infant mortality rates and 4.3 and 4.7 percent decrease of cardiovascular and respiratory disease morbidity cases, annually.

Included in

Public Health Commons

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