Control efforts mitigate smog in Beijing

Xinhua
Beijing's air pollution emergency response office issued a yellow alert for smog yesterday.
Xinhua

Beijing’s air pollution emergency response office issued a yellow alert for smog yesterday.

The alert warned of an air quality index of more than 150 micrograms of harmful fine particulate matter per cubic meter of air over two consecutive days.

In China’s warning system, red is the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

Low visibility forced the city’s transport bureau to close several highways out of the city yesterday morning.

Smog often becomes severe in late autumn and winter. However, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection warned last month that smog was expected to arrive in the capital earlier this year.

Wang Shuxiao, a Tsinghua University professor and head of the Beijing Air Pollution Prevention and Monitoring Work Group, said stagnant air conditions had made the air more humid.

Under similar conditions, he said, Beijing would previously have seen very severe smog, but due to control efforts, air pollution had been mitigated to a moderate level and lower.

Li Ganjie, environment minister, said earlier this week that the monthly average of PM 2.5 density in Beijing recorded between March and August was an all-time low for the same period.

To address the winter smog, the ministry has launched a campaign against heavy air pollution in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and surrounding areas. 

It focuses on curbing pollution from industrial enterprises, cutting coal consumption and improving emergency responses to heavy pollution. 

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