Chinese artist protests against Beijing air quality

AI WEI WEI, one of China’s most well-known artists have come out to protest against Beijing’s record-high air pollution levels.

On Twitter, the artist offered his own succinct commentary on the city’s atmospheric conditions by donning a gas mask in a photograph he posted on Twitter, his salt-and-pepper beard and tufts of hair sticking out around
the device amid the smog, reported The Guardian newspaper yesterday.

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei wears a gas mask to protest against Beijing’s air pollution levels

Air quality has long been a problem in the Chinese capital, but this weekend saw levels more than 30 times above the level judged safe by the World Health Organisation.

Breakneck economic growth, reliance on coal, dramatic expansion of car ownership and the widespread flouting of environmental laws have all contributed to China‘s air pollution problems, The Guardian said.

The Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Centre said levels of PM2.5, tiny particulate matter, had reached more than 600 micrograms per square metre in many areas, and Reuters said it may even have hit 900 – its worst-ever reading.

But the intensity of the current problem appears to be weather-related. The monitoring centre said the heavy pollution had been trapped by an area of low pressure and warned that the problem was likely to continue.

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