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Environmental Issues – The Chinese government announced it will phase in new air quality standards which its cities must adopt by 2016. Currently two-thirds of Chinese cities do not meet the new measures issued on Wednesday. Additional, unmonitored pollutants, such as fine particles 2.5 micrometers wide, or PM2.5s are on that list, as they lodge in lungs causing cardiovascular, respiratory, and lung cancer issues.
“Our task of air pollution control is huge,” Wu Xiaoging, Vice Minister of Environmental Protection said.
PM2.5 particles must be kept below 75 micrograms per cubic meter, which is twice as the 35 micrograms permitted in the U.S.
Pollution in China is of international concern, as no thorough information concerning air quality is available. Recent pressure for the government to reveal knowledge on air partially came about via a U.S. Embassy Twitter feed after they gave hourly updates on pollution levels from the embassy roof. They caught nearly 190 PM2.5s in a daily average.
“We also want to build up public confidence in the data we provide in order to better serve the public,” Wu said and that they will set up 1500 air monitoring stations throughout the country.
Read more at the Associated Press.
The photo below was taken by Ng Han Guan on 3/2/12 for the Associated Press. It depicts the buildings in Beijing covered in haze.
Photo Credit to Vincent369.