Primary Taiwanese news agency, the Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported that the Chinese National Health Commission (NHC) just issued its official guide on health protection given the prevailing air pollution conditions. Currently the smog-based air pollution has triggered warnings in 55 cities across China. The NHC guide advised that office spaces, indoor sports areas and schools should be equipped with air purifiers. It recommended closing windows during smog days and using air purifiers to reduce the PM2.5 level. However NHC did not mention how public school classroom air purifiers would be funded. Studies over the past several years showed that each classroom will require two purifiers. Due to high purifier acquisition cost and high electricity cost for daily operations, so far only the city of Beijing has subsidized the schools for part of the cost. Very few schools standardized the equipment but they are usually funded by donations from the students’ parents. After a time, some schools have even removed purifiers to maintain fairness among the classes. The media suggested that the government should establish a set of criteria on how air purifiers should be deployed in schools. Based on data that the Ministry of Environmental Protection released, this winter Northern China has had low wind speeds and higher temperatures. This may lead to longer-lasting smog days with a wider regional coverage. PM2.5 particles are air pollutants with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less, 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: CNA, December 11, 2019