I just returned from Beijing and I can tell you that it is unimaginable to live in a place with such poor air quality. MSNBC recently did a story on Beijing air quality and noted that although thousands of acres of trees were planted around the city, and many factories were closed for the 2008 Olympics, the city has reopened those factories and coal is continually burned as fuel. China ClubFootball league canceled 10 games during the 2010 season due to the polluted air. (See link 1 for MSNBC article on Beijing air quality).
China’s Air Quality Index (AQI) ranges from 0-300+, anything over 201 will affect even healthy individuals. In 2008, due to ~$17 billion USD invested in air quality measures for the Olympics, Beijing had 150 days with fresh air (AQI was under 50). This morning, the AQI in Beijing was 323…Yikes. (See link 2 for US Embassy in Beijing monitoring station links).
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