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article imageSmog in north-eastern China reach apocalyptic levels

By Karen Graham     Nov 9, 2015 in Environment
Shenyang - In Liaoning province's Shenyang, in north-eastern China, air pollution levels of PM2.5 reached 1,157 micrograms per cubic meter on Sunday, the highest level ever recorded in the country.
Residents in north-eastern China stayed indoors over the weekend as smog levels reached apocalyptic levels that were over 50 times higher than the World Health Organization's PM2.5 level of 25 micrograms per cubic meter.
The levels of PM2.5, tiny airborne particulates that are linked to respiratory problems, cancer and heart disease, have soared in the region as people turn to heating their homes with coal because of the winter weather. In Liaoning’s capital city of Shenyang, an industrial city of about 8 million people, visibility was reduced to less than 100 meters (328 feet), according to state media, CCTV.
China Xinhua News
"As far as we are aware from the data we have been observing over the past few years, this is the highest ever PM2.5 level recording [in the country]," Greenpeace campaigner Dong Liansai said. Weather authorities issues a n "orange alert" in Liaoning Province, the second highest level for smog.
Xinhua, China's official news agency, published a gallery of the latest smog crisis images along with a headline that read, “Fairyland or doomsday?” The Guardian quoted one woman who had decided to leave the safety of her home to buy a face mask: “The air stings and makes my eyes and throat feel sore when I’m outdoors,” she said. “As for what exactly we should do, I don’t know,” she added.
This latest smog crisis has a lot of people venting their frustrations on social media. “The government knows how severe the smog problem is, so why haven’t they tackled it?” one critic wrote on Weibo, China’s Twitter.
“What’s the point of having an environmental protection department? The precondition for developing the economy is not damaging the environment. Our leaders are all well educated. Can’t they understand this simple truth?," the writer added.
The air pollution is a little better today, as hospitals try to deal with the aftermath of the smog crisis. Respiratory wards in local hospitals are filled with patients suffering respiratory problems exacerbated by the choking smog. It goes without saying, though, that deaths will soon follow because the country's pollution problems have been linked to thousands of premature deaths in China.
More about smog levels in China, apocalyptic levels, over 50 times who recommendations, Air pollution, increase in coal burning
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