People’s Daily recently published a report summarizing the media coverage in Japan and South Korea on the topic of PM2.5 pollution “possibly caused by the nearby Chinese haze.” On February 25, many regions in Japan started seeing a PM2.5 level that was over 85. The Japanese standard has a base safety level of 70. Residents in the polluted regions were warned to control outdoor activities. South Korea media reported that, since February 21, PM2.5 levels have been between 81 and 120. These readings were two to three times higher than normal readings. Some areas actually reached 200. In the past week, around 15 percent of China, including Beijing and over ten other major cities suffered haze pollution with a PM2.5 level that remained continuously over 400 and sometimes even reached 600. PM2.5 particles are air pollutants with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less, making them small enough to invade even the smallest airways. These particles generally come from activities that burn fossil fuels, such as traffic, smelting, and metal processing.
Source: People’s Daily, February 26, 2014