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Beijing Rings In The New Year With An Old Friend: Heavy Smog

Posted: 01/5/2015 1:41 pm

There is nothing new about Beijing’s biggest problem: smog. In fact, the city ushered in the new year with hazardous, smothering grey particulate matter. The air pollution in the capital from January 1 to 3 was so bad that at one point PM2.5 particles measured more than 200 micrograms per cubic meter, about eight times the level recommend by the World Health Organisation.

The WHO recommends daily exposure of not more than 25 micrograms per cubic metre over a 24-hour period, and any reading above 200 is considered “heavily polluted” by China’s national standards.

Southern Beijing suffered the most. The levels of PM2.5 in six districts including Tongzhou, Daxing and Xizhuang all exceeded that level on January 3, reported New Beijing Daily. The city’s meteorology centre issued a yellow alert for the smog on Saturday and said it would continue into Sunday.

The good news – at least temporarily – is the city’s air quality is improving a bit today and might even get better tomorrow as a blast of cold air arrives.

But prepare yourself for more smog that will revisit the city and other industrial provinces in the country later this year. One expert predicted the city’s air quality problem won’t be solved for another 20 to 30 years.

Photos: AP

  • mfw13

    Of course, you only report on the smog when it’s bad, and conveniently ignore the fact that December was one of the best months for air quality in Beijing in recent memory thanks to steady north winds.

    In fact, the air quality has been excellent pretty much all fall….

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