The Chinese capital issued its highest red fog alert for a second day on Wednesday, keeping highways closed in and around the city which is already under a smog alert after weeks of choking winter pollution.
China's weather bureau warned of visibility of less than 50 meters in some areas, leading many airports to cancel flights. — Reuters
Tens of thousands of “smog refugees” have reportedly fled China’s pollution-stricken north after the country was hit by its latest “airpocalyse” forcing almost half a billion people to live under a blanket of toxic fumes.
Huge swaths of north and central China have been living under a pollution “red alert” since last Friday when a dangerous cocktail of pollutants transformed the skies into a yellow and charcoal-tinted haze. — the Guardian
The true impact of air pollution has been obscured by the failure to consider people’s exposure as they move around during the day...
The research cites air pollution as “the world’s single largest environment and human health threat” but laments that the problem has not previously been “considered spatially and temporally”, with most studies basing a person’s pollution exposure on where they live. — the Guardian
In a new paper, economists and public health researchers have found that not even working indoors in an office can protect people from the deleterious impacts of polluted air and particularly fine particulate pollution — defined as tiny particles that can travel deep into our lungs and even get into the bloodstream and eventually reach the central nervous system. — the Washington Post
...Given all the harm we know air pollution can cause, does cycling actually help, or could it hurt? After all, I’m not breathing in the foul fumes of a truck when I’m sitting inside an air-conditioned train. I’m certainly not breathing them in deeply, as I would while huffing and puffing on my cycle.
Air pollution kills more than 5 million people every year, yet there has been no analysis of the costs versus benefits of city cycling. Until now. — Quartz
In the latest attempt from a big city to move away from car hegemony, Barcelona has ambitious plans. Currently faced with excessive pollution and noise levels, the city has come up with a new mobility plan to reduce traffic by 21%. And it comes with something extra: freeing up nearly 60% of streets currently used by cars to turn them into so-called “citizen spaces”. — The Guardian
Outdoor air pollution has grown 8% globally in the past five years, with billions of people around the world now exposed to dangerous air, according to new data from more than 3,000 cities compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
While all regions are affected, fast-growing cities in the Middle East, south-east Asia and the western Pacific are the most impacted with many showing pollution levels at five to 10 times above WHO recommended levels. — The Guardian
Residents of just four American metropolitan areas have had regular access to healthy air in recent years. Those four places — Burlington-South Burlington, Vt.; Honolulu; Elmira-Corning, N.Y.; and Salinas, Calif. — had the pleasure of breathing air consistently free of unhealthy ozone, short-term particle and year-round particle pollution from 2012 to 2014,according to a new national air quality report card from the American Lung Association.
The air everywhere else was less consistently clean. — Washington Post
Beijing is stepping up measures to fight against smog and pollution by building a web of ventilation corridors as one of its plans to combat climate issues, according to municipal authorities.
“Ventilation corridors can improve wind flow through a city so that wind can blow away heat and pollutants, relieving urban heat island effect and air pollution,” Wang Fei, deputy head of Beijing’s urban planning committee, told Xinhua News Agency. — CCTV America
The number of premature deaths attributed to particulate pollution has risen, government figures show.
According to Public Health England, the percentage of premature deaths attributable to minute particles known as PM2.5s rose to 5.3% in 2013 in England from 5.1% in 2012. The death rate in London rose to 6.7% from 6.6%. The figures follow significant improvements in air quality across England in 2010 and 2011. — the Guardian
For the first two weeks of the year, private cars with even-numbered license plates are allowed on the roads only on even-numbered dates, and those with odd-numbered plates on odd dates. The restrictions have noticeably reduced traffic in a city with 9 million cars, more than double that of a decade ago.
In 2014, the World Health Organization found New Delhi’s air to be the dirtiest of 1,600 cities it studied. Scientists blame the high levels of pollutants [...] for thousands of deaths a year. — latimes.com
A red alert should go into effect if there is a prediction that the air quality index will stay above 200 for more than 72 hours. The United States government rates above 200 as “very unhealthy,” and 301 to 500 as “hazardous.” At 7 p.m. Monday, the Beijing municipal reading was 253. [...]
At international climate change talks, including the ones now underway in Paris, Chinese officials have promised to curb coal use in order to address both air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions. — nytimes.com
CicLAvia [is] a series of one-day events organized by a local nonprofit in which neighborhood streets are closed to motor vehicles so that people can walk and cycle freely...
Now, a study by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health has found that the event significantly reduces air pollution along the CicLAvia route and even on other streets in the communities where the event is held. — UCLA
After [the 23-foot-tall air filter designed by Daan Roosegaarde] filters smog from the air, it compresses the collected waste particles into cubes that can be embedded into jewelry such as rings and cufflinks — and, hopefully, prompt further conversations about extreme air pollution. — Hyperallergic
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