The Ministry of Environmental Protection began gauging public opinion on revised air quality standards on Wednesday, Xinhua reported.
|The new standards will, for the first time, include readings of concentrations less than PM2.5 (particulate matters smaller than 2.5 micrometers), a major cause of haze harmful to health, the ministry said in a statement.
|Along with the new standards, the country's existing Air Pollution Index will also be upgraded into the Air Quality Index. This will follow international practices to include ozone and carbon monoxide pollution levels as well as PM2.5.
|Tighter rules will also be set for some pollutants already monitored, such as nitrogen oxides and PM10 (particulate matters smaller than 10 micrometers).
|The average yearly ceiling for PM2.5 concentrations is set at 35 micrograms per cubic meter while the limit for any one day is set at 75, according to the ministry.
The ministry plans to adopt the new standards nationally by 2016.
(China.org.cn November 18, 2011)