. Earth Science News .

Celebrities pressure China over pollution gauge
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Nov 8, 2011

Several Chinese celebrities have joined an online campaign aimed at pressuring the government into improving the way it measures air pollution, as residents increasingly worry about their health.

The campaign comes as locals in Beijing -- one of the world's most polluted cities -- have started to question a discrepancy between US embassy readings of air pollution in the capital and official data that is often milder.

Real estate tycoon Pan Shiyi initiated the drive at the weekend, calling on netizens to vote on whether authorities should start using a system that measures levels of tiny air particles, considered most dangerous to the health.

Pan posted the vote on his Twitter-like Sina Weibo account -- followed by more than 7.4 million people -- and it was reposted by other celebrities including Lee Kai-Fu, former head of Google China, and Yao Chen, an actress.

"Encourage more people to participate and protect the environment that we live in," wrote Ren Zhiqiang, another Chinese property mogul, who also reposted the voting call on his microblog.

More than 37,700 netizens have voted so far, with 92 percent saying the government should introduce a so-called PM2.5 standard this year, which measures particles under 2.5 micrometres in size.

Pan said he would collect the vote results and send them to China's Ministry of Environmental Protection to pressure authorities into changing their pollution data.

Particulate matter, or PM, is a type of pollution that floats in the air.

China currently uses PM10 as a measurement -- or particulate matter under 10 micrometres. But scientists say Beijing's pollution is mostly caused by fine particles under 2.5 micrometres, which the US embassy uses for its readings.

PM2.5 are widely seen to be more dangerous for the health, as they can pass through smaller airways and penetrate deeper into the lungs.

The different gauges often create a data discrepancy. When smog blanketed Beijing on October 30, for instance, the embassy's readings rated Beijing's air as "hazardous" while official measurements said the pollution was "slight."

As such, Beijing authorities have been accused of massively underestimating pollution in the Chinese capital, and a growing number of local residents are turning to the American figures rather than the official ones.

The Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau has pledged to improve the way it measures air quality, adding it is capable of monitoring smaller particles but that no timetable had been set for the release of these figures.

Related Links
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Recycling thermal cash register receipts contaminates paper products with BPA
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 07, 2011
Bisphenol A (BPA) - a substance that may have harmful health effects - occurs in 94 percent of thermal cash register receipts, scientists are reporting. The recycling of those receipts, they add, is a source of BPA contamination of paper napkins, toilet paper, food packaging and other paper products. The report, which could have special implications for cashiers and other people who routin ... read more

Thai opposition challenges PM over flood budget

Tokyo city starts radiation tests on food in shops

Social media use soars in flood-hit Thailand

Current Training Programs May Not Prepare Firefighters to Combat Stress

Electronics set to power US holiday sales: report

An Incredible Shrinking Material

Tying atomic threads in knots may produce material benefits

GMV Awarded Contract For Paz Satellite Control Center

Geologists find ponds not the cause of arsenic poisoning in India's groundwater

Sea life "must swim faster to survive"

Crop diversity myths persist in media

NOAA designates critical habitat for black abalone

NASA Airborne Mission Maps Remote, Deteriorating Glaciers

Peatland carbon storage is stabilized against catastrophic release of carbon

New webcam allows world to watch live polar bear migration

Campaigners push for vast Antarctic marine reserve

China food chain shares up after buyout gets OK

Nitrogen Fertilizers' Impact on Lawn Soils

Research team unravels tomato pathogen's tricks of the trade

Peru's Congress approves 10-year GMO ban

Thai PM to skip APEC summit due to flood crisis

Orange smoke billows out of Congolese volcano

Aid groups warn over Pakistan flood fund

More than 500 die in Thai floods

Climate to widen sleeping sickness risk to southern Africa

Hitting the bottle to solve Nigeria's housing problem

China denies abuses in Zambian mines

Kenya claims Somali rebels receive third weapons airdrop

The benefits of being the first to settle

Human skin begins tanning in seconds, and here's how

Jawbone found in England is from the earliest known modern human in northwestern Europe

Increased use of bikes for commuting offers economic, health benefits


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement