More than 220 Flights Canceled Because of Beijing’s Massive Pollution

As Beijing pollution reached new worrying levels, more than 220 flights at the Beijing’s Capital International Airport were canceled on Friday because of poor visibility caused by the pollution.
Pollution on Beijing's International Airport 1 photo
Photo: Fred Dufour
The Chinese capital city already experienced two red alerts in December. During these, the cars were allowed on the roads depending on whether their number plate ended in an odd or even number, and other things such as factory or construction works have been restricted. Schools were also closed, and all outdoor activities halted.

The pollution index touched 500 on Friday, after during the second red alert that took place one week ago, the air quality index indicated 508, as CNBC reports.

According to the World Health Organization, long-time exposure to PM2.5, the 2.5 micrometers particles that enter the lungs and then make their way to the bloodstream can cause severe lung damage, respiratory illnesses or even premature mortality in people with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly.

China is facing dangerous levels of pollution, and to blame for this are the increasing number of cars and the construction sites that release vast quantities of dirt and dust all over the city.

On top of that all, China is the world’s largest user of coal, as about two-thirds of the country’s overall energy comes from coal burning and it is a well-known fact that this sedimentary rock is the highest carbon emitter among commonly used fossil fuels.

Beijing’s geography also has a significant impact on the air quality, and because the city is bordered by large polluting industrial areas and by mountains, all the dirty air is trapped over the city.

China is not the only country that fights with heavy pollution. India’s Supreme Court recently banned all new diesel cars in Delhi and doubled a tax imposed on trucks coming into the city, also due to heavy pollution that causes more than 600,000 premature deaths per year.
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