Beijing issues pollution alert for three days of smog
Friday, February 21, 2014 - 01:31
Feb. 21 - China's capital issues an emergency pollution alert for the first time, warning residents to reduce outdoor activities and urging construction sites to control dust with three days of heavy smog predicted. Sarah Toms reports.
▲ Hide Transcript
▶ View Transcript
Smog in the city.
A dense grey pall shrouds China's capital and many commuters wear masks.
Beijing Residents are no strangers to noxious air pollution. But it seems that there are limits.
Beijing has issued a yellow alert -- the second most serious of four...It's the first time the Environmental Protection Bureau has used its new colour coded warning system unveiled last October.
Smog levels in China's capital city exceeded dangerous highs of 350 on Thursday.
Air pollution readings measuring the number of unhealthy particles in the air higher than 300 are considered hazardous by the World Health Organisation.
(SOUNDBITE)(Mandarin) 25-YEAR-OLD UNEMPLOYED MAN MR. ZHANG SAYING:
"Beijing's air is now like living in a steamer with all sorts of smoke, haze and smog. We've all become human vacuum cleaners"
The excessive pollution levels are expected to continue for three days and people have been warned to reduce outdoor activities, use public transport and control dust in construction sites.
Pollution is an increasing concern for China's leaders, as affluent city dwellers turn against its previous growth-at-all-costs economic model that has tainted much of the country's air, water and soil.
Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code