A man walks on an overpass amid heavy smog in Beijing, China, 30 October 2023. EFE/EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO

Beijing on orange alert until Friday due to air pollution

Beijing, Oct 30 (EFE).- The Chinese authorities have issued an orange alert until midnight on Nov 2 due to high levels of air pollution in Beijing, which has been covered in dense smog for two days.

A man wears a face mask as he walks on an overpass in Beijing, China, 30 October 2023. EFE/EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO

The orange alert – the third highest level on a scale of four – was issued on Sunday over concerns that the pollution could continue for another four days, according to the Beijing Environmental Control Center.

According to the monitoring station of the US Embassy in the Chinese capital, the levels of PM2.5 particles reached 235 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m³) on Monday, well above the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended limit of 25 µg/m³ in 24 hours.

The authorities advised residents, especially the elderly, children, and people with respiratory problems, to stay home and avoid outdoor activities to protect their health.

Although China has been implementing measures to improve air quality for several years, pollution is still a recurring problem in the capital.

The problem aggravates DURING winter due to the burning of coal to heat homes in the northern parts of the Asian country

Liu Bingjiang, director of China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, noted in September that PM concentration levels in Beijing dropped by 57 percent to 30 µg/m³ in 2022 from 90 µg/m³ in 2013, when cities in China were often covered in thick yellow and gray smoke.

An orange alert involves restrictions on construction, reductions in emissions from factories and power plants, and increased pollution monitoring. EFE