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Beijing Breathes Cleanest Air on Record

By Han Wei / Jul 18, 2019 05:12 AM / Environment

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Beijing reported the lowest level of air pollutants in the first half this year since the city started recording related data 35 years ago, reflecting years-long efforts to combat air pollution.

The city’s average concentrations of PM2.5 — super tiny particles that can easily be inhaled — dropped to 46 micrograms per cubic meter in the first half of this year, down 13.2% from last year and the lowest level recorded in more than three decades, according to data from the Beijing Municipal Ecological Environment Bureau.

Concentrations of other pollutants, including PM10, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, also dropped to record lows. Air quality reached the required standard for 113 days in Beijing, or 62.4% of the January-to-June period, according to the bureau. Heavy pollution in the first half was noted on three days in Beijing, five days fewer than in the same period last year.

The capital city is stepping up efforts to meet its pollution control targets as part of a nationwide campaign to clean up smoggy air. During the first six months, the city has removed 25,000 heavy-duty diesel trucks with substandard emissions while adding more than 30,000 purely electric-powered vehicles, according to the Ecological Environment Bureau. The city also closed more than 300 highly polluted plants during the period.

Related: Hitting Air Pollution Target Could Save China $2.4 Billion a Year, Study Says

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