Two-thirds of China's cities fail on air standards

March 2, 2012
In this photo taken through a glass window, buildings are obscured by haze in Beijing, China Friday, March 2, 2012. A senior environmental official said Friday two-thirds of Chinese cities will fall short of stricter air quality standards released this week that include measurements of fine particles. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

(AP) -- Two-thirds of China's cities currently fail to meet stricter air quality standards that the government wants to phase in over four years to combat notoriously smoggy skies, a senior Chinese environmental official said Friday.

The State Council, China's Cabinet, on Wednesday issued new limits on pollutants to go into effect nationwide by 2016. It also said major cities must launch programs this year to regularly monitor additional kinds of pollutants for the first time, including fine particles associated with .

Vice Minister of Environmental Protection Wu Xiaoqing said Friday that the government estimates that two-thirds of Chinese cities currently do not meet the new standards, saying efforts to improve urban air quality will be "very hard work."

"Our task of is huge," Wu said.

The government revised its air quality standards in response to public pressure over pollution and the lack of thorough information about air quality in China. Demands in Beijing for greater government accountability on air quality were fueled in recent months in part by a Twitter feed set up by the U.S. Embassy giving hourly updates on air quality as measured on the facility's roof.

Wu said the government plans to set up 1,500 new air monitoring stations around the country.

"We also want to build up in the data we provide in order to better serve the public," Wu said.

The new Chinese standards require concentrations of called PM2.5 to be kept below daily averages of 75 micrograms per cubic meter - more than twice as lenient as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's standard of 35 .

Some Chinese cities generally have much higher amounts than that, and the U.S. Embassy monitoring showed a 24-hour average in the capital Friday of 188.5, a reading that it called "very unhealthy."

PM2.5 - particles less than 2.5 micrometers in size, or about 1/30th the width of an average human hair - are believed to be a health risk because they can lodge deeply in the lungs, and have been linked to increased cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as lung cancer.

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2.7 / 5 (7) Mar 02, 2012
It would have been much simpler, more effective and more efficient, to have helped (payed) the 2nd and 3rd world economies to completely skip the Industrial Revolution and move whole cloth into algore's gilded age of little electricity, no food and healthcare paid for by someone else, than to let the 2nd and 3rd world go crazy with unfiltered coal.

Nothing the west will do, even if we turned off everything, will stop India and China from burning gigatons of coal and petroleum when they could have been using Solar (Unicorn Farts) and wind (Pixie Dust) to power their infrastructure.
3 / 5 (2) Mar 02, 2012
Nothing new. We can see this on satellite.

There is so much smog coming from India and China now that it's hard to even tell the difference between natural clouds and the pollution, except for color or infrared.
2.1 / 5 (7) Mar 03, 2012
So I have a question for all the believers out there. Do you believe that China and India's burning of fossil fuels will kill Americans? If so, roughly how many?
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 03, 2012
You know Shootist, Al Gore (the overthrown president) I think would have had a good relationship with China, and probably would have modified China's behavior to utilize more solar.

Unfortunately we had 8 years of deceptions and lies to guide the US, and the propaganda from that time period has led to your mindset. What a waste.
2.3 / 5 (12) Mar 03, 2012
Yes, yes unfortunately the overthrown president wasn't able to negotiate global Kumbaya. Moreover the presidency of Obama hasn't done much in that regard either. As such, what's the solution to these global criminals ruination of the environment and the ensuing deaths of millions, billions, or even all of humanity?

What would FDR have done?
2.2 / 5 (24) Mar 03, 2012
I use Solar (Unicorn Farts) and wind (Pixie Dust) to power my house and farm. Saves money. If you don't like the science of climate change, why bother coming to this site? What does Al gore have to do with Chinese air quality anyway?

When there is a strong relatively direct air current from China to the Northwest part of America, the pollution is strong enough to raise the pollution levels in Oregon and Washington. I see it every summer. Draw your own conclusion from that.

China is persuing every sort of energy and power source it can right now. Solar included.
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 04, 2012
Yeah I know Estevan, China even damned the Yellow river for Hydro-electric. The are also building Nuclear plants in just about every corner of the country. What do you expect from a country of 1.3 billion people? I think it's to bad you don't recognize Al-Gore's ability to get people talking about global warming (even in China).

Here: I recommend this video so you can get a sense of what Al-Gore stands for:
3 / 5 (2) Mar 04, 2012
Modernmystic, we need solutions to these global environmental problems. What do you suggest Obama Do?
2 / 5 (21) Mar 04, 2012
I DO recognise his ability to keep the subject relevant to the times. I prefer his TED talk.

China fears nothing more than the wrath of its own people and the dynamic force they represent. Hence their control of the media. Our(USA)congress could learn much about serving the needs of the populace from them. Without the excessive control.

Please don't blast me about socialism, etc, I am talking about effectiveness in office, not the pro and cons of political systems.

It wouldn't matter what Obama proposed, it still has to pass a gridlocked congress and election year politics.

"Demands in Beijing for greater government accountability on air quality were fueled in recent months in part by a Twitter feed set up by the U.S. Embassy giving hourly updates on air quality as measured on the facility's roof."

Pretty funny to me, they get info on their pollution from us.
2.1 / 5 (7) Mar 04, 2012
Modernmystic, we need solutions to these global environmental problems. What do you suggest Obama Do?

Well a good start would be to hand out permits for nuclear plants like they were candy...

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