Travel Bulletin Beijing: Air Quality “Crazy Bad”1 min read
The air quality index in Beijing has soared over 500 as measured on instruments in the U.S. embassy, prompting staff to issue an alert today calling air quality “crazy bad.” The Chinese government’s official air quality reading was 312 because it measures large particulates only and ignores the tiny and dangerous dust particles that U.S. readings capture. Readings over 240 on U.S. instruments typically result in the cancellation and curtailment of outdoor activities.
Beijing’s poor air quality continues to erode with the onset of winter and increased coal burning by residents and businesses. At the same time, automobile traffic is increasing relentlessly with an estimated 1,200 new cars hitting the roads each day.
Diplomatic relations with China have pressured the U.S. embassy into calling today’s candid air quality assessment “incorrect” and promising to use revised language in any future alerts. Let’s hope they continue to publish the numbers no matter what adjectives they choose.
Photo by Andy Oakley.