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Smog is more toxic in Europe than in China


Posted on Friday, 10 February, 2017 | Comment icon 11 comments

Air pollution is a major problem in cities all over the world. Image Credit: PD - Alfred Palmer
Air pollution in Europe and North America may be 27 times more toxic than the smog over Chinese cities.
While there's no denying that China's big cities suffer from some serious air pollution issues, cities in the West - although cleaner in appearance - may actually be even worse in terms of air toxicity.

In the largest study of its kind ever undertaken, researchers found that the average annual exposure to fine particles ( also known as PM2.5 ) across 275 cities in China was five times the level recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Despite this however, the smog in China was found to be less toxic than that in Europe and North America because a lot of it contains natural dust blown in from arid regions.

In the West, by contrast, air pollution is mostly produced through industrial processes.

"Those relative risks are considerably less than those seen in Europe and the US," said Professor Frank Kelly. "For premature mortality we are working on a six per cent increase per 10mcg."

With the exception of large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, this means that air pollution over European and US cities is 27 times as toxic as that over Chinese cities overall.

"Toxic air causes havoc to people's health wherever in the world they live," said air pollution campaigner Areeba Hamid.

"We now know fumes from diesel vehicles are a lot more toxic than car companies claimed and this is a big cause of air pollution in Europe and North America."

"These companies have a lot to answer for, but so far they've managed to avoid any real accountability."

Source: Independent | Comments (11)

Tags: Smog, Pollution

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by preacherman76 on 10 February, 2017, 13:59
I don't know. Sounds like justification as to why China can pollute as much as they want, while shutting down industry in Europe, and North America.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Essan on 10 February, 2017, 14:59
The story has been spun in one direction, but could easily be spun right around ie:  "A study shows that smog in many smaller Chinese cities is not as deadly as it is in major cities in China, and elsewhere in the world, because it contains more natural dust and a lower concentration of industrial pollutants."
Comment icon #4 Posted by danielost on 11 February, 2017, 9:19
0this is just another way toget money from the rich countries and give it to the poor ones.
Comment icon #5 Posted by and then on 12 February, 2017, 5:36
Yeah, but only after deducting a "handling fee".  I've experienced the smog of Beijing in December and it is well and truly horrible.  Burning eyes, nasal passages and even making me cough.  I can imagine how many people would get sick or die from it.
Comment icon #6 Posted by danielost on 12 February, 2017, 20:44
you understand that they count china as a poor country.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Doug1o29 on 12 February, 2017, 21:41
Exactly which country asked for money based on this and which country gave them some? A few countries, particularly African ones, have tried to blackmail the rest of the world with threats of high levels of pollution.  It didn't work - nobody felt that guilty.  That was back in the 90s.  Since then, they've pretty much given up. But there is a risk here:  if Third World countries start installing the new, more efficient technologies before we do, we could find ourselves at a disadvantage in trying to compete with them.  This is particularly worrisome in the case of China which is already start... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by danielost on 12 February, 2017, 21:45
i believe its called green credits.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Doug1o29 on 12 February, 2017, 22:23
Carbon credits.  You do realize that landowners in the US are selling carbon credits right now, even though the US has no such program?  That's because a polluter in Spain or Germany or wherever can buy credits anywhere in the world as a way to offset their pollution.  You can even exchange carbon credits on the Chicago Board of Trade. The problem is that carbon credits don't work.  They don't reduce pollution.  All they do is move it around.  It does little good to control pollution in Portugal if the US is going to raise its pollution levels to take up Portugal's slack.  So what to do? Most ... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by danielost on 15 February, 2017, 5:44
its worse than that germany buys the credits and keeps on polluting in their own backyard.   the pollution goes no place.  just the money does.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Doug1o29 on 16 February, 2017, 18:22
You're right.  The only good thing to be said about that is that  a lot of the money is coming here - to private landowners who keep their land in trees. Doug


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