Childhoods Lost to Smog

In the world’s coldest capital, the effort to stay warm also helps make it the most polluted.

In Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s fast-industrializing capital, temperatures can hit -40 degrees (C and F) in the winter. Toxic particles from unrefined coal, used for heat, fills the air with an opaque smog.

The basic realities of childhood mean pollution hits kids especially hard: they are closer to the ground, breathe faster and through their mouths. And once they’ve entered a child’s body, particulates “enter the bloodstream to reach every organ in their bodies” with dire consequences for their developing brains and bodies.


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