Heavy smog covered central and southern China on the first working day after the national holiday. CCTV America’s Ning Hong reports from Hebei Province.
Smog blankets North ChinaHeavy smog covered Central and southern China on the first working day after the national holiday. CCTV's Ning Hong has more from Hebei Province.
The smog is back, aided by a temperature drop on the North China Plain. Since Wednesday, Particulate Matter 2.5 levels in several major cities in Hebei Province have been over 400, classified as hazard-level.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter are considered “fine” particles and are believed to pose the largest health risks because of their size, which is less than one-seventh the average width of a human hair. These particles can lodge deeply into lungs.
“I often check the PM2.5 level these days. It’s a habit now. It feels bad but I think people living here are getting used to it now,” says a resident of Hebei province.
Many residents are using basic precautions such as wearing a mask or limiting outdoor activities. As winter approaches, air quality may get even worse because most cities use coal for heating.
Although local governments have been trying to reduce air pollution during the past several years by shutting down polluting factories and reducing coal consumption, the latest measurements show there is no sign of relief from the smog.
For more insight on this issue, CCTV America’s Phillip Yin talked to Chip Jacobs. He is an expert on air pollution and co-author of a new book ‘The People’s Republic of Chemicals’.