Severe Air Pollution

Image | February 20, 2013

The rising public concern for coal’s environmental and health impacts is starting to play a large role in restricting coal demand in China, and the air pollution crisis in Beijing in early 2013 indicates that these concerns are likely to increase. According to the U.S. Embassy, Beijing’s readings for PM2.5 pollution (dangerous particles that cause heart and lung damage) surged to 886 µg/m3 on January 12, more than double the U.S. EPA’s highest grading of "hazardous". Burning coal is a leading cause of PM2.5 pollution, and the Chinese public is becoming increasingly vocal in its demand for solutions.