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January 25, 2014

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Air pollutants soar in 74 cities

The density of key air pollutants PM2.5 and PM10 shot up in China by 55.7 percent and 30.1 percent in December, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said yesterday.

The 74 major cities failed to meet ministry air quality standards on more than 70 percent of the days on average.

East China’s Yangtze River Delta faced an even worse situation, where 25 cities reported air pollution on 81.6 percent of the days, including heavy or serious pollution on 34.6 percent of the days, the ministry said.

The 10 cities with the most serious problem last month were Xingtai, Shijiazhuang, Handan, Baoding, Hengshui, Xi’an, Tangshan, Huai’an, Nanjing and Wuhan — six of which are in north China’s Hebei Province.

The ministry called for a four-level alert system for days of heavy air pollution, with color codes of blue, yellow, orange and red in ascendent order of severity. However, the ministry said these measures only serve to temporarily relieve air pollution, while the adjustment of industrial and energy structures is the only solution.

Meanwhile, the ministry released a list of products and crafts that pose high pollution risks. The list has been drawn up to help companies and individuals clearly identify environment-averse items in safety supervision, decision-making and restrictions in policy support so as to limit manufacture, use and export of these products.


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