Air Pollution in Northern China

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Jing 1 Air Pollution in Northern China Section 18

April 07, 2013 Student Name: Yue Jing The latest air quality readings released by the U.S. Embassy in central Beijing in April show that the air has slightly improved, dropping from the off-­‐chart 517 on January 29th to average 100-­‐200 according to the air quality index (AQI). But it comes as no relief since 100-­‐200 are marked as Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups and simply Unhealthy. (Embassy of the Unites States in Beijing, China) Air pollution has become a chronic problem in Northern China, consuming people’s health and disrupting economic activities. Mortality rate, hospital admissions and emergency department visits have sharply increased due to the surge in respiratory diseases. The low visibility has caused thousands of flights to be either delayed or canceled. Highways were shut down and commercial transportation was suspended. As part of the emergency measurement, the government ordered more than 100 factories to temporarily shut down. (Wong) The aggravated air condition has not only stirred discontent among people but also incurred huge cost. An incomplete estimate of cost of environmental degradation in China based on statistics from the Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning was 1.54 trillion renminbi, or about 230 billion dollars. It accounts for 3.5



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