What it’s like to raise children in the world’s most polluted capital

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Jargalmaa Sukhbaatar is five years old, and she hasn’t been to school in weeks. Her parents are keeping her at home to protect her from the toxic air outside.

The oldest of three children, Jargalmaa is a resident of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the world’s coldest capital city and one of its most polluted. During the winter months, when average temperatures can dip below -40 degrees (in both Fahrenheit and Celsius), the air in Ulaanbaatar fills with toxic particles that emanate from the unrefined coal burning inside people’s homes, causing a smog so thick that it becomes almost impossible to see.

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