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Solving China’s Smog Problem. Or Not.

Posted on December 12, 2013
by Wendy Stackhouse
Smog in Shanghai Airport
Smog is visible inside Shanghai Airport on Dec. 5

Here in the Los Angeles area we know our smog. We are smog connoisseurs. But China–especially Shanghai–is catching up with us even as they have passed us by in poor air quality.

In the photo of Shanghai airport above, the smog was so bad you could see it indoors. Yikes!

In recent days, schools have closed due to poor air quality and the Chinese government is requiring airline pilots to master blind landings so that they don’t have to cancel flights on really bad days.

What are the consequences of this level of air pollution? Dire.

Youngest person ever diagnosed with lung cancer.

Lower birthweights.

Over 2 million air pollution related deaths per year worldwide.

What is China’s solution? Change the alert system. Hmm.

“The Shanghai environmental authority announced on Thursday that it has adjusted its air pollution standards to reduce the number of alerts, adding that they will still be frequent in winter.

The municipality’s Environmental Protection Bureau will now lift air pollution alerts when the concentration of PM2.5 — particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter that can penetrate deep into human lungs — falls below 115 micrograms per cubic meter.

Previously, the bureau lifted alerts after the concentration of PM2.5 dropped below 75 micrograms per cubic meter.” China Daily

We would be happier if they did the opposite and had MORE alerts when the air was really bad. Sure glad they didn’t do that here. The air in Los Angeles has improved tremendously over recent decades and will continue to do so.

Which makes it a great time to get out and do some fun holiday activities! What do you have going on this weekend-before-the-weekend-before?

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