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Air Quality Roundup, December 2015

Air Quality Roundup, December 2015


AwN | Sometimes I find myself a little too confident in the American ability to outsource its air pollution. A gentle reminder that America is still quite capable of destroying air quality: Texas Sues EPA, Arguing for Dirtier Air. Houston has some of the worst air quality in America and believes that restrictions on ozone will only hurt the economy and not benefit the health of its citizens. Meanwhile IBM and Microsoft are working towards capitalizing on poor air quality by developing technologies for forecasting air quality. One company recently began selling bottled Canadian air to people in China.

In Beijing conditions remain critical, yet officials fail to properly warn the public...

Beijing pollution soars but no red alert

Daily Mail | Parts of China's capital Beijing suffered air pollution more than 20 times recommended levels on Tuesday, but authorities refrained from issuing the highest smog alert.

Counts of PM2.5 -- harmful microscopic particles that penetrate deep into the lungs -- reached 529, according to the US embassy, which issues independent readings.

The World Health Organization's recommended maximum exposure is 25 over a 24-hour period. China is often hit by heavy smog, mostly a result of coal burning.

Read More at Daily Mail

The Environment: Air Pollution is Slow Murder; Must be Stopped

Each year, since 2007, pollution levels have risen to reach dangerously toxic levels. Our analysis shows that almost every day of the winter of 2014, air pollution levels were either severe or very poor - in other words, as per the government's own air quality index, the air was unsafe to breathe and would make even the healthy ill. It is no surprise then that a study, commissioned by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), conducted in 2012, covering around 11,628 school children, reported the horrific fact that every third child had reduced lung function. Their sputum contained four times more iron-laden macrophages - a sign of the body's self-defence mechanism to fight pollution - than children from cleaner environments. All this is clearly unacceptable. 


So, what has made Delhi, once again, wheeze, choke and die because of dirty air? The fact is that, in the past decade, since the introduction of CNG, some things have changed. One, there has been an explosion of personal vehicles - near 100 per cent increase in registration in Delhi alone. So, even as each car has become cleaner, because of tighter emission standards and better quality of fuel, the number has increased exponentially. The net result on pollution is the same.


Image: Beijing issued its first red pollution alert -- reserved for when authorities forecast an air-quality index of above 300 for at least three consecutive days -- earlier this month ©Greg Baker (AFP/File) 

Assisted Migration of the Fir Monarch
Green Energy Report, December 2015