Many factories and chemical plants have suspended production in Beijing in an attempt to curb dangerous pollution, according to the South China Morning Post. The air pollution is some of the worst the city has seen in years, with harmful PM2.5 particle rates hovering between 200 and 400 micrograms per cubic meter. That number is down from as high as 886 on Sunday. For contrast, the US Environmental Protection Agency regulations say PM2.5 concentration at any location be no higher than 65 micrograms per cubic meter, with average maximums not to exceed 15 micrograms per cubic meter.

China blames the pollution on vehicle emissions, industrial production and an increase in domestic coal use to heat homes during cold weather. A total of 48 work sites, including construction zones, metal refineries and chemical plants have suspended production, and 41 factories have cut back production as well. That includes Hyundai Motor Beijing, which suspended production on Sunday.

Even so, the area's children's hospitals are receiving up to 10,000 patients per day with respiratory ailments. The city's government says it is in the midst of an eight-year plan to curb pollution and that levels have dropped between 30 and 70 percent over the past 14 years thanks to its actions.


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      cpt
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm in Pittsburgh right now and looking at pictures of the city from the 50's... it was basically hell. Now it's all fresh and clean since all the steel productions have moved to China. Go figure! History just repeats itself.
        lordedardstark1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @cpt
        Ditto. People in those days didn't live on Mt Washington for the scenic views of the city.. It was because they were poor!
      Ziv
      • 1 Year Ago
      Beijing conditions change day by day as the wind direction shifts and the electrical load changes. I was in Beijing for a couple weeks several years ago and the first week was reasonably clear, you could see a slight grey tint to the sky but it was blue. Then it got colder and the coal plants kicked it into high gear and the wind shifted and it was like night and day. The sky was very hazy and you could actually feel grit in the air as the wind blew. If they didn't drive their car for a couple days it would have a layer of grit on it. It is hard to believe how bad it can get there. I was in LA in the 80's and it was nothing near as bad as Beijing. I have never been to Mexico City, I wonder if it is comparable.
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ziv
        I have been in LA, Beijing and Mexico City within the last 2 years. You're right, it does depend a lot on the weather. At times I would say Mexico City has seemed the haziest, though on other days it doesn't seem bad. I don't think visual appearance is really the best way to compare pollution.
      John P
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wake up World. This stuff doesn't just stay in China. We are all in the USA (especially California) down wind from China. I was once in Miami when dust from the Sahara Desert was blown in by the Trade Winds.
        Xi Gua
        • 1 Year Ago
        @John P
        In the troposphere these particulates last for a few hours in the air before they photo react with sunlight to form smog and dissipate. It is unlikely they would be carried to the USA by wind.
      eurrasasd
      • 1 Year Ago
      The situation in Beijing has been completely out of control for a while. The air is POISONOUS. Period. Chinese government is a dictatorship and will not even tell how bad things are. If they have taken such extreme measures... things are extremely bad. My company has advised expats there to move their families out of the city and not to stay in open spaces (but in buildings or cars with air filters) while in Beijing. So figure it out.
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just as a note, this article seems to have been written a couple days ago. The Sunday referred to with levels of 800 or so is referring to Sunday the 13th of January, not the 20th. Things actually got better between then and now and then got a bit worse again. https://twitter.com/BeijingAir Note the government disavows the readings on that site as they come from the US Embassy. They tried to get the US to shut down that feed around the time of the Olympics. The official readings are usually lower. Hopefully the Chinese government is only trying to fool the Chinese public by disavowing those readings and not trying to fool themselves too.
        Bruce Lee
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rotation
        The official readings aren't really lower, they just don't release PM2.5 readings, they use PM10.
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bruce Lee
          Not according to the news. Xinhua says Beijing PM25 figures have been reported since September 2012. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-01-13/beijing-orders-official-cars-off-roads-to-curb-pollution Another person told me (this is unconfirmed) that the PM25 readings from the official sources are taken in a park, an area which has lower PM25 figures than the rest of the city. They are thus generally lower than the embassy figures.
      shuttlero
      • 1 Year Ago
      I totally can see the wisdom of raising your countrymen's standard of living in exchange for a shorter lifespan!!!
        Sean
        • 1 Year Ago
        @shuttlero
        Life expectancy in China is still going up: http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=ch&v=30 As bad as thing are now, they used to be worse: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Revolution
      Eta Carinae
      • 1 Year Ago
      So this is the result of "made in China" I just can't believe how polluted that picture and the people that live there are fine with it......China better do something about it quickly before it develops some serious medical problems....I feel bad for the babies
      Tim Korn
      • 1 Year Ago
      I know a friend that works their on contract. He says at the end of the day his nostrils are dirt black.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Tim Korn
        Not worth it. He is destroying his body. I'd move out of there.
        Bruce Lee
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Tim Korn
        If you've visited London you'd know the same thing happens when riding the "tube" (London Underground) because of all the particulate pollution that's still there. It's very disconcerting.
      Carbon Fibre
      • 1 Year Ago
      Don't know if that image is edited or not but that is one heck of a polluted image.
      Relyat08
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well can't say that was completely unexpected.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      mao893kim
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just disgusting... This is China, the well known data manipulators, saying its dangerous to go outside. It is REALLY bad. And sorry old dude, PM 2.5 particles can easily get through that mask of yours.
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