Beijing hit with blanket of poisonous smog

Chinese capital engulfed with air pollution 26 times above levels considered safe by world authorities.

    Beijing hit with blanket of poisonous smog
    Air pollution reaches 26 times the World Health Organisation's safe levels [AFP]

    Beijing has been enveloped by a dense grey smog as the capital experienced the season's first wave of extremely dangerous pollution, with toxic particles registering more than two dozen times the level considered safe.

    The air took on an acrid odour, and many of the city's commuters wore industrial strength face masks as they hurried to work.

    "I couldn't see the tall buildings across the street this morning," said a Beijing traffic co-ordinator. "The smog has gotten worse in the last two to three years. I often cough, and my nose is always irritated. But what can you do? I drink more water to help my body discharge the toxins."

    A monitoring post at the US Embassy in Beijing recorded pollution levels about 26 times higher than those considered safe by the World Health Organisation.

    The city's air quality is often poor, especially in winter when stagnant weather patterns combine with an increase in coal-burning.

    In recent years, China has beefed up regulations and pledged financial resources to fight pollution.

    Beijing authorities said the haze on Thursday has reduced the visibility to several hundred metres and that the severe pollution is likely to continue through Friday.

    SOURCE: Associated Press


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    The life and death of Salman Rushdie, gentleman author

    The life and death of Salman Rushdie, gentleman author

    The man we call 'Salman Rushdie' today is not the brilliant author of the Satanic Verses, but a Picassoesque imposter.

    The Beirut Spy: Shula Cohen

    The Beirut Spy: Shula Cohen

    The story of Shula Cohen, aka The Pearl, who spied for the Israelis in Lebanon for 14 years.