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Air Quality Deteriorates in Large Areas in China; Public Advised to Stay Inside

Recently misty weather has covered large areas of China with a serious deterioration in air quality. The air quality in multiple metropolitan areas has been coded as “serious pollution.”
The Beijing Environmental Monitoring Center released data showing that, since Thursday night (January 10), the pm2.5 concentration has been sustained at above 300 micrograms and reached level six, which is “serious pollution.” In the most polluted area the pm2.5 index reached 456.
In nine out of 11 cities in Hebei Province, the measure of air quality has been labeled "serious pollution.” In Shijiazhuang, Handan, Xingtai, and Hengshui, the quality index even exceeded 500. Air in Wuhan City in central China was also "heavily polluted" for several days.
On Saturday January 12, China’s Central Meteorological Station issued a blue fog warning. Nine provinces, including Hebei, Tianjin, Shandong, Henan, Jiangsu, Anhui, Zhejiang, Hubei and Sichuan Basin, had heavy fog with visibility of less than 1000 meters. Environmental experts warned that heavy fog prevents the dispersion of air pollutants. Local governments have issued air quality warnings to the public and advised people to stay indoors. Schools have suspended outdoor physical activities.
Source: BBC Chinese, January 12, 2013