IESc Seminar Series: Particulate Matter Air Pollution in Central Asia: A Case Study of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan - By Prof. Jay Turner

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Institute of Environmental Sciences Seminar Series

“Particulate Matter Air Pollution in Central Asia: A Case Study of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan”

By Prof. Jay Turner

Washington University in St. Louis

We cordially invite you to our seminar “Particulate Matter Air Pollution in Central Asia: A Case Study of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan” by By Prof. Jay Turner, Washington University in St. Louis

When: 19 October, Thursday, 11:00-12:00

Where: Institute of Environmental Sciences Seminar Room (Hisar Campus E-Block) for any questions.


This presentation will first briefly compare and contrast fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air quality across Turkey and Central Asia. Subsequently, I will summarize our efforts to improve the state-of-knowledge for PM2.5 in Central Asia, focusing on a case study of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. A recently-conducted project demonstrated high spatial variability in annual PM2.5 concentrations across the city, with population-weighted bottom decile value (~22 mg/m3) exceeding WHO Interim Target 3, population-mean value (~40 mg/m3) exceeding WHO Interim Target 1, and a population-weighted top decile value of ~60 mg/m3. The observed factor of four spatial variability is driven by a combination of spatially varying emissions–dominated by residential coal combustion in the wintertime–and mountain/valley airflow dynamics. Spatial modeling of outdoor PM2.5 was combined with PM2.5 indoor/outdoor ratios measured at nearly fifty households (with different primary heating sources) to estimate time-activity weighted exposure distributions for the city’s population. Indoor PM2.5 values were on average ~50% of outdoor values and driven by infiltration of outdoor air. Annual deaths and disability adjusted life years (DALYs) were estimated. A contingent valuation study was conducted to generate a Bishkek-specific Value of a Statistical Life (VSL) and a Willingness-to-Pay (WTP) for improved health that would arise from reduced air pollutant exposures. One limitation of our study is that it captures only chronic effects of PM2.5 exposures; the high wintertime concentrations in Bishkek would also lead to acute exposures and corresponding adverse health effects.

Short Bio

Jay Turner is a Professor of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, the James McKelvey Professor of Engineering Education, Vice Dean for Education, and inaugural Head of the Engineering Education Division with the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. His research primarily focuses on: air quality characterization with emphasis on field measurements, lab analysis and data analysis to support air quality planning and measurement, and also exposure studies; and green engineering. Current work addresses air pollutant exposures as a risk factor for neurodegenerative disease, near-road vegetative buffer impacts on downwind air quality, neighborhood-scale greening (vegetation) impacts on air quality and cardiovascular health, mobile platform measurements to quantify neighborhood- and urban-scale pollutant spatial variability, low-cost air quality and noise sensor evaluations and network deployments, environmental noise monitoring and apportionment to sources, ultrafine particle impacts from air freight hubs, human samples (blood, nails, hair) analysis as biomarkers for environmental exposures, and children’s exposures to air pollution. Currently he has projects in the USA, Mongolia, Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan) and South Africa.