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Sunday, 13 January 2013

Smog alert: the industrial success of China is starting to threaten the lives of the people in Beijing (and other Chinese cities).

Smog alert in Beijing, China. The current smog rate is about 30 times as bad as is considered still to be ‘safe’ for people.

The Dutch newspaper NRC ( writes about this story in an article, provided with a series of pictures that says more than a thousand words:

Inhabitants of Beijing stayed inside this morning, while edifices disappeared in the polluted skyline. The smog in the Chinese capital became so dense lately that measurements show results that are outside any known index.

AP states that the measured density of PM2.5 particles, less than 2.5 thousandst of a millimeter, rose beyond the 700 microgram per cubic meter. The World Health Organization considers 25 microgram per cubic meter as the maximum amount that is still safe for health.

PM2.5 particles are extremely small, with a thickness of 1/30 of an average human hair. These particles can very deeply penetrate the lungs, causing all kinds of respirational problems. The local authorities in Beijing advise to keep children and elderly peope inside. All others must limit their outside activities to the bare minimum.

According to research by the University of Beijing and Greenpeace, last year 8,600 people perished from the consequences of the bad air quality.

The article is a must-see, even if you can’t read Dutch. The pictures tell it all. No further comments needed.

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