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Pollution has killed at least 8,500 people in Guangzhou and three other cities

Posted: 12/19/2012 2:42 pm

We all know pollution is bad in China, but just how bad is it?

PM 2.5 is a fine particle that has been identified in the past year as essential to measuring the cleanliness of a city’s air. A report from Beijing University released yesterday concluded the dangerous particle has sent 8,572 people to early graves in Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an, Southern Metropolis Daily reports.

The report also concluded that these deaths come at a cost of RMB 6.8 billion to the economy.

The researchers from the public health department of the university chose to conduct the research in the four cities because they were representative of four different regions.

Modern toxicology research has shown that exposure to PM2.5 can lead to significantly increased death rates due to cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as increased cancer risk, according to

In its conclusion, the report states that if the cities can effectively lower PM2.5 levels to meet the World Health Organization’s Air Quality Guidelines — 10 micrograms per cubic meter — such deaths would be reduced by more than 80 percent.

On December 5, the Ministry of Environmental Protection planned to cut the PM2.5 intensity by at least 5 percent by 2015 in 13 major areas covering 117 cities, Xinhua says.


Front page photo credit: The Guardian

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