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China's smog is so bad it shut down an entire city

Posting in Cities

In China, smog has practically shut down Harbin, a city of around 11 million people, Reuters reports:

The smog not only forced all primary and middle schools to suspend classes, but shut the airport and some public bus routes, the official Xinhua news agency reported, blaming the emergency on the first day of the heating being turned on in the city for winter. Visibility was reportedly reduced to 10 metres.

According to the Chinese national news agency Xinhua, smog levels topped 500 micrograms per cubic meter of air particles measuring less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. Though Reuters says it reached 1000 micrograms per cubic meter in parts of the city. The World Health Organization recommends no more than 20 and considers 300 to be hazardous.

The smog emergency is also causing government-mandate stoppages in construction and factory production.

In other words, business isn't getting done in China because of smog.

The worst part: this is completely avoidable. (And it's causing cancer.)

Photo: Flickr/freddie boy

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— By on October 20, 2013, 10:27 PM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure