Beijing Air 4 Times Worse Than Most Polluted U.S. City, Cuts Lifespan by Half Decade


The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has issued dire warnings about the dangerous air quality in Beijing.

In a new report, the NAS warns that sulfur dioxide and other pollutants from nearby coal-fired power plants contribute to a toxic stew that is four times more unhealthy than the air in the most polluted U.S. city (Riverside, Calif.), and can reduce expectancy by five-and-a-half years, according to news reports.

CBS News reports that the pollution is so bad that some school children are forced to play and exercise inside sealed domes with filtered air.

The Los Angeles Times reports that despite continuing economic opportunities for Westerners in China, many ex-pats are leaving over concerns about the impact of pollution on them and their families.

The Washington Post recently published what it describes as a “shocking” image of the thick smog that chokes Beijing.

The Guardian reports that China has adopted sweeping new measures to curb emissions, including a target 30 percent reduction of pollutants from heavy industry by 2017.

News coverage of the NAS report by the Associated Press, Mother Jones.

Links to NAS report: here and here (subscription/fee required)

Report extract



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