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China to begin monitoring of PM2.5

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CNTV, March 2, 2012
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China's State Council has passed on March 1st a new air-quality standard, following public outcry over worsening air pollution. The revised standards include indices for measuring the concentration of PM2.5 and o-zone over a period of eight hours.

The State Council has instructed 31 major regional capitals, including Beijing and Shanghai, to begin monitoring PM2.5, which captures smaller particles in the air harmful to human health. It will be extended to 113 more cities on the state environment protection list in 2013 and to all cities in 2015.

Ye Wenhu, standing director of Chinese Society for Sustainable Development, said, "The introduction of PM2.5 to the system will gain more attention from the public and officials, and promote our environmental protection.”

A more accurate system to monitor China's pollution has been demanded for months, following days of persistent fog in major cities. With PM2.5 making the cut, it is hoped to push forward a better equipped system and administration. But the problem lies in the balance with the country's rapid industrialization.

Pan Jiahua, director general of Institute for Environmental Studies, CASS, said, "It will take lots of time and effort. We need to invest in time for equipping the monitor facilities. And then we have to take action to reduce the sources of such emission. And this is not easy."

Reports suggest if PM2.5 were used, only 20 percent of Chinese cities would be rated as having satisfactory air quality, against the current 80 percent. Experts call for improving industrial technology to meet the standards.

Adopting the new standards may not have an immediate impact on pollution. But such a step reflects an increasing awareness of air protection. It may take years before we can get back clean air to the city. But these tighter standards and stronger measures show China is preparing itself for a full fight against air pollution.


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