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Foreigners to help monitoring air quality
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One Italian and two Americans have been officially included in a 12-member expert panel on air quality during the Beijing Olympic Games.

The participation of foreign experts would ensure the authority and transparency in air quality monitoring and forecast during the Games, said Du Shaozhong, vice director of the Beijing municipal bureau of environmental protection.

The expert panel would monitor air quality, offer suggestion on air quality forecast and assess measures taken to improve air quality.

Ivo Allegrini, head of the air pollution department at the National Research Center (CNR) of Italy and a member of the panel, said he would lead an Italian work team and work in Beijing for the whole August.

His team would receive data from the Beijing environment watchdog, and would also be free to monitor air quality in the city and provide data for them.

Beijing would publish not only air quality forecast for the coming day, but also forecasts three days and a week ahead during the Olympic Games, said the expert panel's head Tang Xiaoyan, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

The expert panel includes seven from the Chinese mainland, two from Hong Kong, two Chinese Americans named Liu Shaochen and Zhang Shiyu, as well as the Italian.

Beijing has 27 air quality monitoring stations and 18 temporary ones at Olympic venues.

(Xinhua News Agency June 20, 2008)

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