600 million people are affected by the incessant smog in China, a report from the National Development and Reform Commission states.
The report, published on Thursday, also states that about a quarter of China is affected in terms of geographic area.
The report identifies that the (rather obvious) problem is both the duration and surface area of the heavy smog that affects Chinese citizens. It blames extensive economic development, imbalanced industry structure and energy structure for the dangerous air particles.
“For example, this January, only on five days did the air quality in Beijing meet the secondary standard. Thirdly, the density of pollutants was very high during the haze,” the report states.
This year, Beijing became one of the most polluted cities in China, experiencing so many days of dangerous air quality that people have dubbed it the “airpocalypse“.
More recently, a 20 year study conducted by the American National Academy of Sciences stated that for residents of Northern China life expectancy is about five years less than for people in Southern China.
Yet, an official with Ministry of Environmental Protection denied the correlation.
“Though smoke from burning coal could affect human health at a certain degree, there is no evidence that it could shorten the lifespan,” the official said to Sina.
For the full report in Chinese from the state agency, see here.
[Via Sina English]