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ENVIRONMENT

Seven Imprisoned for Stuffing Cotton Into Air Pollution Monitors to Skew Readings

By Zhou Tailai and Li Rongde
Seven people, including two former heads of district environmental protection offices in Xi’an, were sentenced to prison for over a year for tampering with air-quality monitoring equipment and falsifying readings in Shaanxi province’s capital. Above, Xi'an residents brave the air pollution on Feb. 15.  Photo: Visual China
Seven people, including two former heads of district environmental protection offices in Xi’an, were sentenced to prison for over a year for tampering with air-quality monitoring equipment and falsifying readings in Shaanxi province’s capital. Above, Xi'an residents brave the air pollution on Feb. 15. Photo: Visual China

(Beijing) — A court on Friday imprisoned seven people, including two former heads of district environmental protection offices in Xi’an, for over a year for tampering with air-quality monitoring equipment and falsifying readings in Shaanxi province’s capital.

The director of the city’s Changan District Environmental Protection Bureau, He Limin, had instructed employees to “sneak into the air-quality monitoring stations and stuff cotton gauze into air sampling equipment several times in March 2016,” documents from Xi’an Intermediate People’s Court show. The cotton padding filtered out smog particles the same way it does in a smog mask.

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