02/21/2013, 00.00
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Pearl River Delta worse than in Beijing

For an expert at the China Academy of Meteorological Sciences, pollution related to shoe and cosmetic production is deadlier than that in the capital. The central government is silent on the matter.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Pollution in the Pearl River Delta, near Shenzhen, is worse than in Beijing. Shoe and cosmetic factories are the main factors behind higher levels of organic compounds dangerous to human health.

Wu Dui, a researcher at the China Academy of Meteorological Sciences, said health-threatening PM2.5 particles in the delta region contained more nitrogenous organic compounds than in central and eastern parts of China and the Yangtze River Delta.

His claim came as a British study concluded that exposure to higher levels of fine particulates causes a sharp rise in deaths from heart attacks.

Wu said the problem was identified a decade ago but had been given scant attention.

In Beijing last month, findings indicate a major jump in cases of lung cancer and Beijing cough, a disease that especially affects children.

About 30 times thinner than a human hair, PM2.5 particles have long been ignored in weather data collection. However, it is particular bad for the lungs.

The World Health Organisation has set guidelines of a maximum of 10 microgrammes of PM2.5 per cubic metre as an annual average exposure. In Beijing last month, PM2.5 levels reached 993 microgrammes per cubic metre.


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