Bad air pervades in half of Chinese cities

October 24, 2006

China said Tuesday air quality is moderately or seriously polluted in nearly half of its cities, with particulate matter being the chief culprit.

The state Environmental Protection Administration said most urban citizens are living with excessive particulate matter in the air, reports Xinhua news agency. The agency said in cities with more than 1 million people, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter are the top pollutants.

"About 48.1 percent of Chinese cities are suffering from moderate or serious air pollution," SEPA Deputy Director Zhang Lijun told a workshop meeting.

His agency suggested that China along with the United States and the European Union should set up a coordinated air quality surveillance system.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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