Beijing steps up monitoring of its air pollution

The Beijing Municipal Environmental Centre has completed a series of examinations that have been designed to accurately measure the level of air pollution in the city.
It revealed that an additional 15 monitoring stations have been put in place to monitor fine pollution particles known as PM2.5. These can result from the burning of fuel from cars and from power plants.
There has been pressure on the Chinese government to release more data ever since US officials began publishing their own PM2.5 data via the social network Twitter.
Officials will monitor the level of pollution for a three-month period, after which, based on analysis of the information acquired, they will make recommendations on how to improve the quality of air in Beijing.
The city is one of the busiest in the world and, as a result of this, one of the most polluted – it has pollution levels that are nine times the level of that in New York, for example.
Its citizens, including expats, have been increasingly vocal in encouraging the authorities to tackle this entrenched problem.
Speaking to the Financial Times earlier this year, An Feng, head of the Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation in Beijing, said: “Now people think it is personal, that it is their right to have blue skies. It’s not enough to accumulate personal wealth. If you don’t have clean air, it doesn’t matter.”
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