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China declares air quality has improved

Government Ministry confirms PM2.5 density is down compared to recorded levels in April and May 2015

Air quality in 338 Chinese cities has improved year-on-year in April and May of 2016, with average PM2.5 density down, according to China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection.

The average density of PM2.5, fine particulate matter causing smog, stood at 42 micrograms per cubic meter in April and 38 in May, down 8.7 and 11.6% from the same period of last year.

Beijing often hits headlines due to its dangerous levels of air pollution

Beijing often hits headlines due to its high levels of air pollution

The 338 cities had on average about 25 days of good air quality in a month both in April and May, according to the Ministry – an executive branch of the Government of China.

The city of Haikou in Hainan Province and Huizhou in Guangdong Province remain the cleanest of the nation’s 74 major cities.

Hebei Province had the most cities among the top 10 with most serious pollution in the two months, six in April and five in May.

In the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban conglomerate the decline was 13.4% in April and 16.1% in May, with the ozone index in the area ‘far exceeding standards’, the government source suggests.

Pollution

Air pollution kills an average of 4,000 people every day in China – the equivalent of 17% of all fatalities in the country – according to a US study paper published by Berkeley Earth last year.

China’s capital, Beijing, has repeatedly hit the headlines in recent years due to high levels of air pollution in the city.

An independent environmental science NGO, Berkeley Earth analysed hourly measurements of 1,500 ground monitoring stations in China covering a four month period, estimating that 38% of China’s population breathes air which is ‘unhealthy’ by US standards.

It found that sources of particulate matter PM2.5 in China match those of sulphur dioxide, which it concluded implies that most of the country’s pollution comes from coal.

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