Tiny air pollutants kill thousands, cost billions in China

BEIJING Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:09am IST

Chimneys from the huge state-owned lead smelter are visible behind a sign that reads, ''Strict environmental protection law enforcement, crack down on illegal behaviors'' in the town of Tianying, Anhui Province, November 19, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray/Files

Chimneys from the huge state-owned lead smelter are visible behind a sign that reads, ''Strict environmental protection law enforcement, crack down on illegal behaviors'' in the town of Tianying, Anhui Province, November 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/David Gray/Files

Related Topics

BEIJING (Reuters) - Microscopic pollutant particles in the air have killed some 8,600 people prematurely this year and cost $1 billion in economic losses in four Chinese cities, according to a study by Beijing University and Greenpeace.

The study of pollutant levels of PM2.5, or particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres in diameter, in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xi'an called for PM2.5 levels to be cut to World Health Organisation guidelines, which would reduce deaths by over 80 percent, the China Daily newspaper said on Wednesday.

PM2.5 particles are known to damage the lungs and cardiovascular systems, cause lung cancer and other diseases, being small enough to settle directly in the respiratory system.

China's rapid growth has brought with it serious environmental problems, from polluted rivers to smog that often shrouds cities.

The government has recently asked major cities to release readings on PM2.5 levels to the public.

(Reporting by Jonathan Standing; Editing by Michael Perry)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Islamic State Threat

Reuters Showcase

Day of Mourning

Day of Mourning

Malaysia mourns as bodies of MH17 victims finally come home.  Full Article 

Iraq's Air Force

Iraq's Air Force

Amid U.S. air strikes, Iraq struggles to build own air force.  Full Article 

History In Pictures

History In Pictures

First pictures of Taj Mahal to ‘Hairy family of Burma’: subcontinent photos from 1850-1910.  Full Article 

Tough Policies

Tough Policies

Australia defends detention of child asylum seekers.  Full Article 

Tensions Ease

Tensions Ease

National Guard begins pullout from riot-weary Ferguson, Missouri.  Full Article 

Nervous  Calm

Nervous Calm

Amid outward calm, climate of fear cements Thai military rule.  Full Article 

Containing Ebola

Containing Ebola

Liberia quarantines remote villages at the epicenter of the virus.  Slideshow 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage