Beijing’s Battle with Smog

21 Feb
The skyscraper is almost hidden by the air pollution

This skyscraper is almost hidden by the air pollution.

Air pollution is a problem for many large cities in the world.  According to the World Bank, China has 16 of the world’s worst polluting cities.

Beijing is important as it is known for high pollution rates as well as a high density population.

Recently, the air quality took a turn for the worse as the readings of PM2.5 were 500 microgrammes per cubic metre in Beijing. The maximum level suggested by the World Health Organisation is 25 microgrammes.

This bustling metropolis experiences a vast amount of ‘smog’ days with many inhabitants opting to wear a mask to cover their nose and mouth. As China is the world’s greatest consumer of coal, it’s no surprise that the pollution is severe. The heavy industry in Beijing and within the surrounding area adds to the inversion that often leads to increased smog days in winter months. As China’s GDP grows, more people can purchase their own vehicles and contribute toward the smog themselves.

The GDP of China is growing and is becoming a massive exporter of goods. But is it worth it?

A research study published at the end of last year suggests that the smog in Beijing reduces residents’ life expectancy by 15 years. Clearly, the issue is one that cannot be ignored.

The Chinese government announced in July 2013 that they were going to spend around $300 billion on cleaning up the areas that are the most affected.

This is an issue that causes pain for the Chinese government; they want to see economic growth and increased production but there comes a point where the environment in which its citizen reside cannot be ignored.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-12/beijingers-told-to-stay-indoors-as-pollution-hits-record.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-25744682

http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f7139

http://grist.org/news/china-to-spend-big-to-clean-up-its-air/

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One Response to “Beijing’s Battle with Smog”

  1. hd10g11 February 21, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    Phillips (2014) supports this by suggesting that “Millions of lives will be unnecessarily lost to soaring rates of respiratory disease and lung cancer unless the Chinese government takes determined action against rampant air pollution, according to one of the country’s foremost lung experts”.

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