Air qual­ity wors­ens with win­ter

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHENG JINRAN

Air qual­ity in China im­proved in the first 11 months of the year, although it de­te­ri­o­rated in Novem­ber, the na­tional en­vi­ron­men­tal author­ity said on Tues­day.

In the first 11 months, 80.5 per­cent of the days had “good” air qual­ity, a year-on-year in­crease of 2.6 per­cent­age points, but the read­ings of PM2.5 and PM10 — par­tic­u­late mat­ter with di­am­e­ters of 2.5 and 10 mi­crons re­spec­tively — in­creased in Novem­ber, said Luo Yi, head of the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion’s de­part­ment of en­vi­ron­men­tal mon­i­tor­ing.

Air qual­ity is con­sid­ered “good” when the com­pre­hen­sive Air Qual­ity In­dex is 100 or be­low.

The AQI is based on the con­cen­tra­tions of six air­borne pol­lu­tants — PM2.5 and PM10, ozone, sul­fur diox­ide, ni­tro­gen diox­ide and car­bon monox­ide.

Av­er­age read­ings of PM2.5 in­creased by 7 per­cent and those of PM10 by 20 per­cent last month due to heavy smog.

In Novem­ber, the 13 cities in the Bei­jing-Tian­jin-He­bei re­gion had 36.9 per­cent of days with good air qual­ity, a year-on-year de­crease of 16.3 per­cent­age points, while PM10 in­creased by 24.3 per­cent­age points com­pared with the level last year, the min­istry’s monthly re­port on air qual­ity among 74 ma­jor do­mes­tic cities said on Tues­day.

In the tri­lat­eral re­gion, six cities were listed in the bot­tom 10 for se­vere air pol­lu­tion last month. Shi­ji­azhuang was the worst, fol­lowed by Baod­ing, Xing­tai, Tang­shan, Han­dan and Heng­shui, it added.

Last month, three bouts of se­vere smog cov­ered the Bei­jing-Tian­jin-He­bei re­gion and north­east­ern re­gions where the air pol­lu­tion read­ings were off the charts, reach­ing alarm­ingly high lev­els.

Some north­west­ern cities, such as Lanzhou in Gansu prov­ince, were hit by sand­storms three times, which wors­ened the pol­lu­tion, the state­ment said.

In the lat­est round of smog in north­ern re­gions from Satur­day to Mon­day, emer­gency re­sponses ad­dress­ing smog were is­sued by 42 cities, among which Lang­fang in He­bei prov­ince and Lin­fen in Shanxi prov­ince is­sued the high­est red alert.

The min­istry has re­quired au­thor­i­ties to pun­ish pol­lut­ing com­pa­nies more strictly.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Peo­ple wear masks in Xi'an, Shaanxi prov­ince, on Tues­day, the fifth con­sec­u­tive day of se­ri­ous air pol­lu­tion.

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