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    Conflicting Air Pollution Readings for Beijing


    by NTDTelevision

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    Heavy smog covered Beijing earlier this week—sending many with respiratory problems to the hospital. But data from Chinese authorities shows only 'slight pollution.' In contrast, figures from the US Embassy indicate high and dangerous levels. It's leading many residents doubtful over what figures to trust.

    Air pollution is getting worse in Beijing. Heavy smog in the city earlier this week smothered residents—sending many with lung and respiratory conditions to hospital emergency rooms.

    To make matters worse, Beijing residents are getting two conflicting air pollution reports.

    Data from the US Embassy in China indicates high and dangerous pollution levels. The air quality index for October 31st is 300 and 400 for November 1st—with figures peaking at 500.

    But, the index from the Beijing Environmental Protection Agency (BEPA) remains at 150 to 170—indicating low pollution levels.

    Residents doubt the Chinese regime's readings.

    [Peng Dingding, Beijing Resident]:
    "Please check the air condition for yourselves if the two published data are not the same. I believe netizens more than the US Embassy, and I believe the US Embassy more than the Chinese government."

    Many are inclined to trust the US figures.

    [Xu Guangrong, Atmospheric Science Professor, Taiwan National University]:
    "I believe the US in this aspect. I do not think they will deliberately exaggerate the data. I think they put air-monitoring stations in their embassy due to concerns over the pollution effects on US nationals. I think the data from the US Embassy in China is more accurate."

    The disparity is probably due to Chinese authorities following a different procedure for measurement. They only measure bigger particles—between 2.5 to 10 microns.