Air Pollution In Beijing 28 Times Above Save Level

Pollution in the Chinese capital Beijing got so bad this past Sunday that people were being told not to get out of their houses.

The Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Centre said on its website that density of PM2.5 particulates surpassed 700 micrograms per cubic metre (some projections put it at  over 800) in many parts of the city. The World Health Organisation considers a safe daily level to be 25 micrograms per cubic metre. PM2.5 is used an accurate measure because it is that of tiny particles about 1/30 the average width of a human hair which can penetrate the human lungs.

Air pollutionhermanwest / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

The reason for the terrible air pollution? Cars. The number of cars has exploded over the last decade thanks to the economic boom. Add on top of that the fact that it is coal producing most of the electricity in the city.

Another contributing factor has been weather conditions. The lack of wind has also meant that pollutants are not blown away.

Even when the situation has not been this bad, Beijing residents often have to wear face masks.

Zimbabwe has also experienced a rise in the number of cars in cities particularly Harare, where owning one is seen as a sign of success. With still many cars coming in you wonder how long it will be until it becomes really bad. Already when you go to sections down-wind, that is the high density suburbs you find the air there is less healthier than the leafy suburbs. This is primarily  because the colonial settlers built the City that way so that the bad air would go that way all the time thanks to the circulation of air in the city.

All we can say for now is thank goodness for the low population levels here.

With information from The Scotsman and AP