Tue, 29 Jan 2013 11:44:20 GMT | By Reuters

Beijing shuts factories, removes cars, but pollution stays high

Around 103 heavily polluting factories were shut down and 30 percent of government vehicles off roads in Beijing, but pollution levels continue to remain high


Beijing shuts factories, removes cars, but pollution stays high (© AFP)

Beijing: Beijing temporarily shut down 103 heavily polluting factories and took 30 percent of government vehicles off roads to combat dangerously high air pollution, state media reported on Tuesday, but the capital's air remained hazardous despite the measures.

Air quality in Beijing has mostly stayed above "very unhealthy" and "hazardous" levels for about two weeks. On Tuesday, it hit 517 on an index maintained by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, which described the pollution as "Beyond Index". Pollution in Beijing regularly exceed 500 on an index that measures particulate matter in the air with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers. Above 300 is considered hazardous, while the World Health Organisation recommends a daily level of no more than 20.

Earlier this month pollution hit a record, 30-45 times above recommended safety levels, blanketing the city in a thick, noxious cloud that grounded flights and forced people indoors.

(Continued)
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