Thursday, July 30, 2009

Beijing pollution

Calling Beijing polluted is like saying that January in New England is chilly.

Beijing is one of the most polluted cities in the world. Factories, litter, sewage, cigarette smoke, heavy traffic, and a widespread lack of environmental awareness seem to have created a not only unpleasant but also high dangerous and unhealthy pollution situation. (If this sounds bitter, it's because most of the white clothes I brought are now closer to cream, and my lungs are not so kindly requesting that I immediately return home.) If you want to know more, below is a link to and some quotes from a BBC article published last year.

Beijing pollution: Facts and figures
Air pollution in Beijing is a problem. Figures for particulate matter (PM10) - tiny airborne particles caused by the burning of fossil fuels like petrol in motor vehicles - are regularly several times higher than the WHO air quality guideline level of 50 micrograms/cubic metre.

In fact the WHO's usual target even lower, at 20 micrograms/cubic metre.

Beijing's figures even exceed the WHO's interim target for developing countries of 150 micrograms/cubic metre. The interim or 'easy' target is intended to encourage developing countries to begin gradually cutting down emissions.