01/29/2013, 00.00
CHINA
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Worsening pollution as people fall ill from "Beijing cough"

This morning, the values of PM2.5 were 495 (normal value, for the WHO is 20). Growing risk for people with heart and lung problems, the elderly and children. Expatriates seek to escape from the polluted cities. In 10 years lung cancer increased by 60%. The anger of the Chinese people towards leaders, surrounded by air purifiers and "organic” products.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - The blanket of smog and pollution over the capital continues unabated. With alarms that have lasted more than a week, today the air quality index was at 495 ("dangerous") at 11 in the morning, but at 6 was 517. Typically, an index that exceeds the value of 100 is considered "not good for health."

The data referred to above is the "free" information registered in the U.S. embassy in Beijing. The municipal center of the city shows a lower value, 393, which, however, is still a sign of "serious pollution".

Yesterday the same center reported a value of PM2.5 (particulate matter - dust - Airborne 2.5 micrograms per cubic meter) ranging between 340 and 360. A value of 100 is considered dangerous to the health of people with heart or lung diseases, children and the elderly. The World Health Organization has placed a limit of 20 in normal air.

The smog that reduces visibility, has spread to other parts of the Southeast of the country, creating problems for flights at the airports of Shijiazhuang (Hebei) and Zhengzhou (Henan).

In recent days, almost 1,000 children were taken to hospitals in the capital for treatment of respiratory problems. Among the people and especially among the expatriate community it is being defined as "Beijing cough" due to smog. And its influence is such that many expats living in the city, are now trying to move to the country, to avoid what they call "Greyjing ".

There is a growing concern for health issues among the Chinese population in the last 10 years, in large cities, there has been a 60%increase of lung cancer, even confirmed by the China Daily. At the same time anger is also mounting against the leaders who allowed such pollution caused by the wild and anarchist industrialization of recent decades without any care for the enforcement or any laws on environmental protection.

Local newspapers describe the "healthy" lifestyles of the representatives of the government, who have expensive air purifiers in their homes and offices and who shop in special "bio" farms, to protect them from food poisoning.

 

 

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