‘Off the scale’ smog grounds China flights

January 10, 2012BEIJINGMore than 150 flights to and from Beijing have been cancelled or delayed as a thick cloud of acrid smog shrouded the city, with U.S. figures saying the pollution was so bad it was off the scale. The national meteorological centre said the Chinese capital had been hit by thick fog that reduced visibility to as little as 200 meters in some parts of the city, while official data judged air quality to be “good.” But the U.S. embassy, which has its own pollution measuring system, said on its Twitter feed that the concentration of the smallest, most dangerous particles in the air was “beyond index” for most of the morning. The U.S. system measures particles in the air of 2.5 micrometers or less, known as PM2.5, considered the most dangerous for people’s health. Today’s reading on its air quality index, which rates anything over 150 as unhealthy, over 200 as very unhealthy and over 300 as hazardous, breached the upper limit of 500, at which it stops giving figures. Meanwhile, the Beijing Environmental Bureau, which currently bases its air quality information on particles of 10 micrometres or larger, known as PM10, said the air quality in the capital was “good.” A spokesman for the bureau would not comment when contacted by AFP. According to Beijing International Airport’s website, 155 flights were delayed or cancelled today. Air France and Lufthansa flights coming from Paris and Tokyo respectively were among those grounded. The frequent discrepancy between U.S. embassy readings and official data on pollution in Beijing has caused huge public anger as more and more residents worry about their health. –News.com
contribution Gen
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5 Responses to ‘Off the scale’ smog grounds China flights

  1. K says:

    Why do they keep lying to the people? It is so polluted and it angers me they say it is good when clearly it is not, my friend who went to China for a few years to teach english developed so many health problems and she is only in her late 20s and non smoker but developed so many problems with her lungs.

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  2. Philippino Bob says:

    Europe used to have the same type of smog when they were still using coal for heating.
    If there is no wind to disperse the smog for a prolonged period of time the problem becomes a BIG PROBLEM. In China however, there are multiples sources of pollution and no near term solutions!

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  3. Tom E. says:

    Think of it as national defense readiness, anyone trained in this environment would have a natural advantage on the battle field, and there is no way a western standing army would be effective in China

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  4. wow I had no idea they grounded flights! I thought LA was bad! 🙂

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