BEIJING 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)
Trending On Reuters
N.Korea launched a long-range rocket on Sunday carrying what it has called a satellite, but its neighbours and Washington denounced the launch as a missile test, conducted in defiance of U.N. sanctions and just weeks after a nuclear bomb test. Full Article | Video
- More pulled out alive after Taiwan quake, about 120 people still trapped
- More than 3,100 pregnant women in Colombia have Zika virus - government
- Rubio falters in presidential debate
- Malaysia's new Twitter police target critics of PM Najib
- Critic of Vatican refuses to step down from sex abuse commission