Bad Even For Beijing: Smog Hits Extreme Levels | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Bad Even For Beijing: Smog Hits Extreme Levels

Beijing's air quality reached extremely hazardous levels Saturday, and officials are warning people to stay indoors, NPR's Louisa Lim reports.

"Beijing's skies are shrouded in a blanket of spectral grey smog, which blocks visibility and makes the eyes sting," Lim tells our Newscast Desk.

She says the air quality level is literally off the charts: The U.S. embassy's index stops at 500, but the levels recorded Saturday hit "beyond index," above 800. Lim adds:

"Public pressure has led to more open reporting of pollution levels in the last year, but one leading Chinese health expert has warned air pollution could become the country's biggest health threat."

In December 2011, Lim reported that long-time exposure to such hazardous pollution "could reduce life expectancy by as much as five years."

Officials say the extreme levels could stay that way into Tuesday. Meanwhile, the official Xinhua news agency reported as recently as Dec. 31 that Beijing's air has improved for 14 straight years.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Comedian Andrea Martin: 'I Don't Think Age Has Anything To Do With It'

Now in her late 60s, Martin says she's still "excited and enthusiastic" about her work and doesn't have any intention of retiring. She published a memoir in September called Lady Parts.
NPR

Nutmeg Spice Has A Secret Story That Isn't So Nice

Nutmeg is a feel-good holiday spice. But it once caused serious bloodshed and may have even been a reason the Dutch were willing to part with Manhattan in the 1600s.
WAMU 88.5

Special Prosecutors Should Handle Civilian Shootings By Police, Holmes Norton Says

Norton says mayors and governors could stem anger over civilian shootings by police by appointing special prosecutors to handle them.
NPR

Facebook Finds That Not All Users Want To Review Their Year

The social media giant's "Year in Review" app has upset some who prefer to forget 2014's unpleasant memories.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.