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AKIPRESS.COM - Joint team of health experts and researchers from Mongolia, U.S. and Japan has been conducting Mongolian Air Pollution Solution Campaign (MASC) since last year, focusing on educating people, especially youth and children about harmful effects of air pollution. The team recommends residents to wear masks regularly to prevent the spread of diseases during the cold season, according to GoGo Mongolia.
David Chace from MASC stated that air pollution is caused by many factors. In Mongolia, smoke from ger district is the major cause of air pollution. Traffic and power plants also add up to air pollution. Raw coal widely used in ger districts for heating produces the most hazardous pollution. Developing countries mostly burn raw coal and it creates the worst pollution in the air. However, the Government is not taking actions to protect the children's health. Therefore, the organization operates mainly in the field of children's health and providing health education for children.
David Chace has first visited Ulaanbaatar city in 2013. Previously, he heard that Ulaanbaatar is a polluted city, but he was not aware that air pollution of the city has already reached disasterous levels.
"I had a lung disease caused by the pollution during my first year in Ulaanbaatar. I cough when I smell smoke in the morning. During that time there were no companies selling pollution mask. Moreover, people have not got enough information on benefits of wearing mask", he said.
MASC campaign created volunteer team consisting of 12 students and conducted training for them in cooperation with the Institute of Public Health and experts of Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences on causes of air pollution, difference between PM2.5 and PM10, health effects of pollution, samples of other countries and how to prevent air pollution.
"Children had lack of scientific knowledge at that time. By educating and training children, they started to strive for sharing their knowledge with others. After the training, they also persuade their families and friends to protect themselves from air pollution", emphasized David Chace.
As of today, MASC campaign educated 250 secondary school students for a year and handed over dedicatory masks for free, aiming to protect their health.
Wearing mask can be the simplest and affordable way to fight against air pollution in Mongolia. People can protect themselves from health risks which might occur in the future by wearing masks.
Especially, people should wear masks in the morning, evening and any time spent outdoors. Because air pollution reaches its highest level in the morning and evening. Also, respiratory tract is irritated when people suddenly breath cold and polluted air, which might soon cause the asthma.