Beijing air quality plummets again

Two weeks after air pollution in the Chinese capital reached  record-breaking levels, smog shot back up to conditions considered  “hazardous”, Reuters reported on Monday.

It said Beijing’s official air quality  monitoring system showed noon readings of around 350 on an index that measures  particulate mass in the air.

A level of more than 300 is considered  dangerous, while the World Health Organization recommends a daily level of no  more than 20.

By 1pm a reading from the U.S. embassy in Beijing peaked at  423.

Emissions from factories and heating plants, fumes from  millions of vehicles and the burning of coal often conspire to blanket the city  in a pungent haze that can become trapped in certain weather  conditions.

Extreme air pollution is known to cause cardiopulmonary  disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections.

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