Assessment of the Air Quality of Almaty. Focussing on the Traffic Component

  • Lars Carlsen Awareness Center, Linkøpingvej 35, Trekroner, DK-4000 Roskilde Kazakh-British Technical University, Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • Nassiba Kh. Baimatova Center of Physical Chemical Methods of Research and Analysis, al-Farabi Kazakh National University
  • Bulat N. Kenessov Center of Physical Chemical Methods of Research and Analysis, al-Farabi Kazakh National University
  • Olga A. Kenessova Awareness Center, Linkøpingvej 35, Trekroner, DK-4000 Roskilde


The air quality of Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, has been assessed applying the DPSIR (Driving forces, Pressures, Sate, Impacts, Responses) approach as overall framework. The paper focuses on the traffic component that is responsible for approx. 80% of the air pollution in the city. Further factors comprise power plants, minor industrial activities and private heating. Driving forces and pressures are disclosed and the state is elucidated based on extensive chemical analyses of gasoline, car exhaust and ambient air samples. In addition to already available information a broad spectrum of organic substances were found in the city air comprising aliphatic, aromatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Many of these substances are damaging to the human health. Measurement of particulate matter mimicked previous studies, however, it is suggested that further studies focusing on the PM2.5 component is conducted. Almaty traffic is dominated by private transport in aging cars. A series of recommendation (‘responses’) including actions to reduce the number of aging cars, to reduce private transport, to improve fuel consumption and to reduce through going traffic have been given in addition to suggestions for upgrading the monitoring activities.


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How to Cite
CARLSEN, Lars et al. Assessment of the Air Quality of Almaty. Focussing on the Traffic Component. International Journal of Biology and Chemistry, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 1, p. 49-69, june 2013. ISSN 2409-370X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 24 feb. 2019.


Air quality; Almaty; Integrated Environmental Assessment; DPSIR; Traffic; Health; Air Pollutants; SPME