Beijing is the Capital of the People’s Republic of China, and one of the most populated cities in the world. Beijing is extremely popular with tourists from all over the world, and in 2008 it was put on a global stage when it hosted the Olympic Games.
However, this week the world has seen shocking images of Beijing, where dense pollution has reached dangerous levels. The pollution in the air was so thick, that it was almost impossible to see the Beijing skyline, cars were asked to remain unused, and factories were asked to close.
Air pollution is monitored by Air Quality Indexes, and anything above 300 is considered hazardous. On Monday, the instrument on top of the American Embassy in Beijing measured the air at a dangerous level of 406.
This means that breathing the air in Beijing is potentially dangerous and unhealthy, while the pollution remains at these levels. In fact hospitals have seen an increase in patients complaining of respiratory problems since the pollution intensified. The danger is caused by dangerously large particles in the air, which are breathed into the lungs and then potentially enter the blood stream.
This may seem extremely shocking, but many industrial areas have faced similar issues throughout the centuries, the ‘thick smog’ in Victorian London is especially famous. However Beijing, and China as a whole, must do something to rectify this situation, to make the country a safer place for visitors and residents alike.
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