According to The Guardian, Ulaan Bator is the world’s second most polluted mega city. From 2008-2011, the average PM 2.5 level was nearly 150 micrograms. In 2014, Beijing averaged 98 micrograms; the WHO 24-hour limit is 25 micrograms.
Is it a bustling manufacturing sector? Manufacturing is still a tiny percentage of the Mongolian economy. Cars filling the streets? Not that either.
It turns out, most of Ulaan Baatar’s pollution is from people burning coal to keep warm. A little heat is necessary where winter temperatures dip to -40 C.
Yet all that air pollution causes 1 in every 10 deaths in the capital, according to an academic study. That makes clean air an urgent need in this city of 1.2 million people.
Smart Air will host its first-ever Mongolia workshops in Ulaan Baatar! Join us in the Mongolian capital September 11th and 12th.
Join us to learn how DIY purifiers can help remove dangerous particulate pollution from inside the home. Smart Air founder Thomas Talhelm will explain how even the priciest purifiers use a fan to push air through a HEPA filter. Workshop participants will make their own in just 10 minutes, and they’ll take it home to start breathing easier right away.
Thomas is a new Assistant Professor of Behavior Science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the founder of, a social enterprise to help people in China breathe clean air without shelling out thousands of dollars for expensive purifiers.