China is urged to get rid of smog, which threatens human health shutterstock

China is urged to get rid of smog, which threatens human health

Katerina Belousova

Polluted air in China caused about 1.4 million premature deaths in 2019

China is calling for higher air quality standards, as persistent smog continues to negatively affect public health.

The concentration of fine particles of PM2.5 in the air is 30 micrograms per cubic meter, although according to WHO recommendations should not exceed 5 micrograms, according to Reuters.

Also in some industrial parts of the north, smog levels are still around 200 micrograms, especially in winter.

The campaign, which began in 2013 to combat smog, reduced the concentration of PM2.5 to 30 micrograms per cubic meter, although the intermediate target was 35 micrograms.

The working group, commissioned by China's National Pollution Research Program, said China needed to revise national air pollution standards and improve the legal protection of human health.

"Acute health risks from PM2.5 pollution usually mean that short-term exposure to PM2.5 can cause severe damage to the body, provoke symptoms or diseases (mainly cardiovascular or respiratory diseases) and lead to premature death and a number of adverse health effects," the statement said.

The report said that each increase in PM2.5 per 10 micrograms was associated with a 0.34% increase in the risk of hospitalization for respiratory disease.

The government is urged to continue to promote clean energy, modernize industry and control transport pollution, as China's goal of carbon neutrality is an important part of its efforts to implement WHO recommendations.

The working group also called for better data and more systematic study of the health effects of air pollution, including the effects of "key toxic components" on human biomarkers.

A Global Burden of Disease Study conducted by the University of Washington found that air pollution in China caused about 1.4 million premature deaths in 2019.

Recall, according to the WHO, 99% of the world's population breathes polluted air.

As EcoPolitica reported earlier, a Chinese study showed that polluted air causes brain degradation.

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