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Yaroslav Marchenko: “Substances that cannot be seen or heard are much more dangerous than those that stink”

3. 5. 2021,
Yaroslav Marchenko: “Substances that cannot be seen or heard are much more dangerous than those that stink”
Ярослав Марченко

The winner of the first EcoQuiz in 2021 from the project “Clean Air for Ukraine” was Yaroslav Marchenko from Zaporizhzhia. He receives a free public air monitoring station from the EcoCity network. We asked Yaroslav about his previous experience in air quality monitoring and his expectations.

– Why are you interested in air quality monitoring?

– I live in one of the most polluted cities of Ukraine, moreover in one of the most polluted areas of this city. From my window there is a direct view on the factories. The main polluters are only 5,5 km far away. In the evening, you can no longer see anything, only smell, a sharp smell of phenol and sulfur compounds. This is a problem: the same CO, or even phenol, formaldehyde cannot be smelled in small concentrations, and at the same time is already harmful. And the concentration that can already be smelled is much higher than the MPC. In Zaporizhzhia we sometimes have smoke and stench, but substances that, at first glance, are not visible or audible, are always there. And they are much more dangerous than those that stink.

Therefore, yes, transparent and odorless air is not a guarantee of safety, there are completely odorless gases that have 1-2 classes of danger. At Zaporizhkoks, so much stands out in the process.

– Not everyone understands this.

– I worked at Zaporizhkoks and I know what is happening there. I also know the chemistry well and understand how dangerous it is to my health. So for a long time I have been interested in air quality monitoring, even thinking of making the station myself. The nearest eco-monitoring station on the EcoCity map is 6 km far away. In addition, it captures only dust. And nitrogen emissions are not controlled. There are many blind spots in Zaporizhzhia, the city is not covered by the monitoring system. There are no data on emissions north of the plants. Therefore, there is a fairly large gap in the control of air quality, and near the plants themselves – sources of emissions.

– What will you do with the measurement results?

– Of course, I will transfer data to the EcoCity network, I will inform people on my Facebook page and on the Youtube channel. We cannot influence factories. But people have the opportunity to put pressure on the government, to demand environmental security.

Polluted air or not? It can be determined by the air quality monitoring station from EcoCity

Clean Air for Ukraine

This project is led by a non-governmental organization Arnika (Czech Republic) in cooperation with local civic initiatives in industrial towns of Ukraine with financial support from the Transition Promotion Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

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