Beijing To Reduce Smog ‘Red Alerts’ – By Raising The Threshold

Open Jaw

That’s one way to do it.


Just weeks after Beijing issued its first ‘red alert’ warnings informing people when smog hits a critical level, the city’s environmental watchdog is raising the threshold.


Currently a red alert is issued when the Air quality index (AQI) is expected to reach 200 for two days in succession. U.S. authorities classify a 200 index as 'very unhealthy.'


But China’s Xinhua News reports new rules taking effect in March will require a daily average (AQI) of 500 for a red alert to be announced. In addition 300 for two days in a row or 200 for four days will also trigger the highest alert.


When Beijing's first red alert was issued in December, schools were closed and outdoor construction work suspended because of the dense smog.


The city is taking steps to counter the smog at its source – or at least some of its sources. Last month the city said it would start closing down more than 2000 small firms known as heavy polluters. 

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