Photos Capture the Staggering Air Pollution Plaguing China

by , 02/01/13

beijing air quality, air pollution, carbon emissions, smog, world health organization, pollution monitoring, china pollution, pm2.5, air quality health, respiatory disease, environmental regulations Image: © John E. Williamson

Just a couple of days ago we reported on the incredible blanket of pollution overtaking the city of Beijing. The problem has plagued the city for more than two weeks, but over the last few days pollution levels have spiked and air quality readings are 40 times above recommended safety levels. Visibility in the area was reduced to about 600 feet at one point, with some areas experiencing visibility as low as 300 feet. The near emergency state has resulted in cancelled flights and forced much of Beijing’s population indoors as they’ve been advised to stay inside to avoid respiratory illness. To capture the dire scope of the current situation, The Atlantic’s Alan Taylor gathered a collection of incredible eye-opening photos taken over the last weeks of this city shrouded by pollution.


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