Ex-health minister endorses finding China's smog kills 350,000 a year

Then Minister of Health Chen Zhu speaks at an interview in Hong Kong on Sept. 22, 2009. Photo: SCMP/Oliver Tsang

Air pollution causes 350,000 to 500,000 premature deaths on the mainland a year, according to an article co-written by a former health minister.

Wednesday, 8 January, 2014, 5:52am 9 comments

Cars or coal? Scientists split over main culprit of Beijing's air pollution

A Chinese couple wears protective masks while going around the Tiananmen Square on December 7, 2013. Photo: EPA

As China enters 2014 reeling from one of the worst polluted winters in recent years, experts from two major research institutes have openly disagreed over what is the main culprit behind the capital city's dismal air pollution.

2 Jan 2014 - 12:49pm 2 comments

Choking, toxic smog spreads across the nation to inland and coastal cities

Smog almost completely hides the Potala Palace in Lhasa. Photo: CFP

The mainland's notorious smog has spread from major city clusters around Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to inland cities in central and western provinces and in the country's north.

21 Dec 2013 - 5:23am 11 comments

Fashion-forward face masks a big hit in China amid soaring air pollution

A variety of masks are selling big online in China. Photos: AP, Reuters

China’s worsening air pollution has had a surprising and unexpected consequence – fashionable face masks.

A trend has sprung up among people who want to look good while trying to avoid the smog. Face masks are now an accessory and are matched according to the weather, sport or outdoor activity.

6 Jun 2013 - 2:47pm 1 comment

Environmental experts say China's new leadership has to tackle pollution

Smog is an all too familiar sight in Beijing. Photo: Simon Song

Lingering smog, dead pigs floating down waterways and rivers turned red and white - the mainland's new leadership was ushered in a month ago amid dreadful scenes in stark contrast to the "blue sky and clear water" pledged in their vision of a beautiful China.

21 Apr 2013 - 6:40am

Pollution is one reason Guangzhou people’s lungs are turning black, warns expert

China has seen unprecedented air pollution in recent years. Picture: SCMP

In Guangzhou, people’s lungs are turning black as early as their 40s, top Chinese lung expert Zhong Nanshan says.

12 Mar 2013 - 9:45am

New Chinese name for particulate-ly deadly smog

Beijing's CBD area is shrouded with smog in a heavy air pollution. Photo: Simon Song

PM2.5 now has an official Chinese name, xikeliwu, that literally translates as "fine particulate matter" after extensive debate among meteorologists, linguists and environmental experts, mainland media reported yesterday.

1 Mar 2013 - 5:11am 2 comments

Beijing air quality plummets after Lantern Festival fireworks

The air quality in Beijing deteriorated on Sunday after fireworks were set off for Lantern Festival. Photo: EPA

Heavy smog blanketed most areas in Beijing and air pollution readings surged after enthusiastic residents set off fireworks to celebrate the annual Lantern Festival, Xinhua reported on Monday.

25 Feb 2013 - 12:23pm

Flights cancelled as Beijing is blighted by smog yet again

Airliners at Beijing Capital International Airport yesterday morning. Several flights were delayed by the poor visibility. Photo: Xinhua

Thick smog that blanketed Beijing and surrounding regions for a record 21 days last month returned, causing travel chaos as many businesses reopened and people returned after the Lunar New Year holiday.

18 Feb 2013 - 9:57pm 1 comment

Beijing's air quality rated 'hazardous' as smog returns to eastern regions

Cars drive on Jianguo Road on a heavily hazy day in Beijing. Photo: Reuters

Air quality in Beijing turned "hazardous" while pollution in Shanghai was rated unhealthy as hazy weather was forecast across eastern regions. Concentrations of PM2.5, fine air particulates that pose the greatest health risk, rose to 297 micrograms per cubic metre at 12pm near Tiananmen Square from an average of 195 in the past 24 hours, Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Centre reported.

14 Feb 2013 - 3:42am

China’s thick smog arrives in Japan

The suffocating smog that blanketed swathes of China is now hitting parts of Japan, sparking warnings on Monday of health fears for the young and the sick.

4 Feb 2013 - 6:25pm

Blanket coverage for a lung-burning issue

Severe pollution clouds the Beijing skyline. Photo: AFP

China’s new rich are fond of saying “nothing is a problem if money can solve it”. But over the past week, nearly everyone in China realised there are things in the country that not even the rich can buy. Clean air was one of them. The recent air pollution reached such a horrifying level that brown clouds were actually observed over the country from space.

3 Feb 2013 - 6:41am

Beijing reunited with 'long-lost' blue skies as cold spell clears haze

People exercise despite a haze on the mainland. Photo: Reuters

Beijing residents saw a return of "long-lost" blue skies yesterday, with air quality improving to levels labelled "good" by the US embassy after hitting hazardous levels on 20 days last month.

2 Feb 2013 - 3:47am 2 comments

Smog envelops huge swathes of China for a third successive day

Smog shrouds Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Wednesday. Photo: Simon Song

Beijing issued severe air pollution warnings on Tuesday, after cancelling dozens of flights, closing factories and ordering official cars off the road.

30 Jan 2013 - 2:47pm

China to expand anti-pollution programme this year

Green activists hand out masks to pedestrians on The Bund yesterday to raise awareness of air pollution in downtown Shanghai. Photo: Reuters

The mainland will step up its fight against air pollution this year and expand its PM2.5 monitoring network in the wake of the dense smog that has blanketed many regions this month.

25 Jan 2013 - 7:59am