• China tackles air pollution by destroying barbecues
    Many cities in China experienced extreme smog due to air pollution last winter

Air Monitoring

China tackles air pollution by destroying barbecues

Nov 27 2013

Beijing is attempting to improve air quality by destroying open-air barbecues. Authorities in the Chinese city have destroyed over 500 barbecues in a bid to cut down on air pollution caused by burning wood and fossil fuels. The move has come as China continues to work toward cleaner air.

All of the outdoor barbecues were illegal and could, according to Chinese media, lead to serious air pollution. The move is part of an emergency programme that has been designed to help towards reducing the often harmful levels of air pollution experienced by the city. The 500-plus illegal barbecues were seized during raids that are part of an operation to supervise the use of outdoor barbecues over a three-month period.   

The barbecues are just one of the sources of particulate pollution, which often causes high levels of smog in a number of Chinese cities as well as having health implications. Small particulate pollution is able to penetrate deep into the lungs and has been linked to a number of health problems, including heart disease and lung cancer. It can also exacerbate existing illnesses.

According to Chinese health officials, cases of lung cancer in the country's cities have risen to over 20 million cases, which could be attributed to the low quality of the air experienced at different points throughout the year.

Last year, the winter months resulted in such back smog caused by air pollution that the situation began being called "airpocalypse". The heavy smog was caused by heating being turned on automatically throughout the cities, which was mostly powered by coal burning. 

The country has also repeatedly come under fire for its previous refusal to take steps against emissions and air pollution that is related to climate change. However, China has this year changed this view and has introduced a number of measures that aim to cut down on emissions, especially in cities. 

An emergency response programme has been adopted recently in a bid to cut down on air pollution, which includes closing schools on days of heavy smog and alternating what days cars with certain license plates are allowed on the road.   


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