Let’s clear the air! Indoor air pollution in Georgia

Last year our colleagues from the Georgian office kicked off a new project “Clean Indoor Air for Children” aiming to tackle indoor air pollution in public kindergartens and schools, focusing on three regions in the country.

This month, as part of this program, a first series of publications were issued “What are the Most Common Indoor Air Pollutants?” More information on the campaign can be found on the Facebook page which is regularly updated.

indoor air pollution mortality

In Georgia, the mortality rate due to indoor air pollution is 31.72 deaths per 100,000, making it one of the highest rates across Europe and the Caucasus. In 2017 alone, nearly 1,900 premature deaths were attributed to indoor air pollution. This is mainly caused by the reliance on firewood and other biomass for heating and cooking purposes by more than half of the Georgian population. An estimated 1,000 kindergartens in Georgia use firewood in inefficient stoves to meet their heating needs during the cold season, inevitably resulting in unhealthy levels of air pollution with small particles. In addition, poor ventilation remains widespread and results in high pollution levels inside the classrooms. Although exposure to unhealthy levels of airborne pollution creates an environmental health problem for everyone, children are especially vulnerable to the adverse effects as they breathe more rapidly than adults and thus absorb more pollutants. Such exposure can result in several short and long-short term health problems, thus impairing the healthy development of children.

monitoring of kindergartens

To raise awareness of the environmental and public health risks associated with indoor air-polluting activities in Georgia, this Clean Air for Children project aims to mobilize stakeholders to improve the indoor air quality (IAQ) in kindergartens throughout the country. The project has three regions – Imereti, Mtskheta-Mtianeti and Samtskhe-Javakheti, where 60 kindergartens are selected to take part in a baseline air quality study that will actively monitor indoor pollutant levels and collect current information on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) practices and management. The findings of the study will be published in a report that also includes recommendations on practical and easy measures to improve the air quality, such as ventilation and the use of clean technologies.


Before kindergartens were closed due to COVID back in early March, we managed to measure indoor air conditions in several public kindergartens throughout Georgia. Currently, we are working with the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC), an official partner of this project, to analyze preliminary results of the current conditions of indoor air and air quality management in these kindergartens. Initial observations of the first round of data will be published as an interim report, that hopefully will spark public dialogue on this issue in Georgia.