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ENVIRONMENT

Killer Ozone Rises to Become Top Air Pollutant in North China

By Wu Meiwei, Zhou Chen and Wu Gang
Ozone is becoming a growing problem in North China. The gas has already surpassed PM2.5 as the top pollutant in many cities. Photo: Visual China
Ozone is becoming a growing problem in North China. The gas has already surpassed PM2.5 as the top pollutant in many cities. Photo: Visual China

As the summer heat continues to grip northern China after nearly two weeks, the readings of a barely visible pollutant — ozone — have been climbing as well.

In Beijing, the indexes of the commonly known small-particle pollutants such as PM2.5 and PM10 index peaked around 90 on Tuesday afternoon, relatively mild for a city that is often shrouded in smog during the winter, when the air quality indexes exceed 400 or even 500. But the citywide ozone index reading on Tuesday was more than 170, and in some areas, such as the Tongzhou district in the east, it was above 210, which meant serious pollution.

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