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    24 Jan 2015

    Air Pollution: Chinese And American Cities In Comparison

    China’s struggles to contain thick rolling shrouds of smog have been well documented. Despite public discontent and countless pledges from the authorities to tackle the problem, air pollution in many cities has been pushed to over twenty times the safe limit on numerous occasions.

    Small airborne pollutant particles called PM 2.5 can harm the lungs when ingested with the potential to cause asthma, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The World Health Organization said that anything over 10 micrograms per cubic meter of PM2.5 should be considered hazardous. China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection released a ranking of cities with the worst air pollution, showing the sheer scale of the problem. The cities of Xingtai, Shijiazhuang and Baoding have a PM2.5 level of 155.2, 148.5 and 127.9 respectively.

    The heavy levels of pollution can be primarily attributed to China’s use of coal-fired power plants to fuel its economic growth. Seven of its top ten most polluted cities are located in Hebei province near Beijing, a major industrial centre home to the nation’s steel industry, as well as heavy glass and cement production.

    How do the PM2.5 levels of China’s ten most polluted cities compare to the worst of the worst in the United States? The Washington Post took the top ten U.S. cities for PM2.5 and compared them to China’s. The results certainly speak for themselves. Bakersfield, California is considered America’s worst city for air pollution with a PM2.5 level of 18.2. That’s some distance behind Xingtai’s 155.2.

    Read More:http://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2015/01/23/air-pollution-chinese-and-american-cities-in-comparison-infographic/
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