Reduce Air Pollution: in China | Greenpeace East Asia

Reduce Air Pollution

Air pollution is a severe problem – one that has serious impacts on our health and our economy. According to a recent World Health Organization study, nine out of ten of people worldwide breath polluted air. Toxic air pollution particles lodge themselves deep in our lungs and enter our bloodstreams – with serious health effects.

Of particular concern is PM2.5 (particles with an aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 μm) air pollution. In 2017, average PM2.5 concentrations in Beijing exceeded World Health Organisation (WHO) air quality guidelines by nearly sixfold, and by almost fourfold in Shanghai. In the 338 cities for which monitoring data is available, average PM2.5 concentrations amounted to 4.3 times the WHO guideline. This means higher health risks to the cardiovascular system, cerebrovascular system and an increase in the probability of cancer and premature death.

Ozone (03) is also a major concern in China. Levels of this invisible particule, which causes lung damage, symptoms in asthma patients, and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, are on the rise. Average ozone exposure in China rose 17% between 2014 and 2017, an increase which caused an estimated 12,000 premature deaths per year.

The good news is that China’s massive shift from coal power to renewable energy is already underway – and is key to ensuring further air quality improvements.

Greenpeace is one of the leading NGOs working on campaigns to reduce sources of air pollution in China.

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Dirty Air: Raps on Hong Kong Government

Video | 2009-02-26 at 20:39

MC Yan and Greenpeace East Asia challenge the Hong Kong government to tell the truth about the city's air pollution.