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Beijing hits highest air pollution alert of 2015

Beijing hits highest air pollution alert of 2015

Beijing’s residents have been advised to stay indoors after air pollution in the Chinese capital reached hazardous levels.

BEIJING (China) – Last night, Beijing’s pollution level was taken up a notch to “orange,” from the original “yellow” classification by the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, according to Travel China. This is the second-highest air pollution warning level, with “red” coming next.

Air pollution in Beijing reached hazardous levels on Saturday as smog engulfed large parts of China despite efforts to clean up the foul air.

At noon, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing reported the level of the poisonous, tiny articles of PM2.5 at 391 micrograms per cubic meter. The World Health Organization considers the safe level at 25 micrograms per cubic meter of the particulates.

Since Friday, the city had been shroud in grey smog, reducing visibilities to a few hundred metres.

The ministry of environmental protection has forecast severe pollution for the greater Beijing region, as well as the west part of Shandong and the northern part of Henan until Tuesday, when strong winds from the north are expected to blow away air pollutants.

The ministry has advised the public to stay indoors.

The pollution is expected to last until at least Tuesday, with a cold front (or a colder front, we suppose) expected to alleviate some of the terrible air conditions on Wednesday.

This unfortunate spell of bad air is disappointing considering we had really seen an improvement in air conditions this year, which was backed up by Beijing’s Environmental Protection Bureau (surprise!). Here is atimeline of Beijing’s air pollution going back a few decades.

Authorities blame coal burning for winter heating as a major culprit for the air pollution. The ministry said it had sent teams to check on illegal emissions by factories in several northern Chinese cities.

And if you’re wondering just what the hell is in Beijing’s air then you might want to look at this:

Beijing hits highest air pollution alert of 2015

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