SCMP reports that the air quality in 74 major cities in China had an air quality that was unsafe for humans in the first six months of the year. The absurd rate of pollution was at dangerously high levels throughout this time period.
The average concentration of PM2.5 particulates in 74 cities monitored by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection was 76 micrograms per cubic meter in the first six months, the agency said in a statement today. That compares with the WHO’s recommendation of no higher than 25 for day-long exposure.
As China’s largest steel producing province, Hebei is suffering from the worst pollution in the country. Seven out of ten of the most polluted cities in China were in this north eastern province, and capital city Shijiazhuang failed to meet government standards for a staggering 90 percent of the days in the first half of the year. Shijiazhuang on average had 172 PM 2.5 microns per cubic metre, a rate of which is 5 times higher than a level that is considered safe.
Beijing, which became infamous earlier this year for its so called “air-pocalypse”, unsurprisingly also faired poorly. On average, every other day in between January and July had an air quality that was below government standards. The official statistics read that 40 percent of the days in Beijing had an acceptable air quality, while the other 60 percent did not. For 26 percent of these bad air days, the air was rated as “severely polluted.”
As one travelled south, the air pollution seemed to lighten up. 65.2 percent of the days in Shanghai had air that met government standards while Guangdong province had an impressive 80 percent of its days with clean(ish) air.
The government earlier reported that they intend to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2017 and last month 283 billion dollars was pledged by the Ministry of Environmental Protection to help reduce air pollution over the next 5 years. Cities in Hebei, as well as Beijing and Tianjin will be considered special projects in this much needed endeavor.
You can always check the air quality for Shanghai, Beijing, Shenyang, Guangzhou and Chengdu at these websites with a reference chart here. For further information on smaller cities please visit this website.
[Photo Credit: @AnimaSuri]