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China expands hourly air pollution monitoring to biggest cities

Published on Dec 30, 2012 2:40 PM
 
A woman rides a bicycle on a hazy day, in central Beijing, Dec 19, 2012. Microscopic pollutant particles in the air have killed some 8,600 people prematurely this year and cost US$1 billion (S$1.2 billion) in economic losses in four Chinese cities, according to a study by Beijing University and Greenpeace.

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China plans to release hourly air pollution monitoring data in 74 of its biggest cities starting on New Year's Day, state media said on Sunday, in a sign of increasing responsiveness to quality-of-life concerns among prosperous urban people.

Choking pollution and murky grey skies in Chinese cities is a top gripe among both Chinese and expatriates.

Microscopic pollutant particles in the air have killed about 8,600 people prematurely this year and cost US$1 billion (S$1.2billion) in economic losses in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xi'an, according to a study by Beijing University and Greenpeace that measured the pollutant levels of PM2.5, or particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres in diameter.

The new monitoring will include not only PM2.5, but also sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and carbon monoxide, the Xinhua news agency said, citing a Friday announcement by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

 
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