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    Hard to Breathe in Beijing's Heavy Smog


    by NTDTelevision

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    It's been a very smoggy week in Beijing, with consistent hazardous air readings— although not according to official data. Authorities have covered up pollution by measuring only large particles that are not as harmful as small ones, but the reality on the ground speaks for itself.

    Heavy smog has continued in Beijing for more than a week, and the city's hospitals are feeling the strain of extra patients with breathing difficulties.

    [Beijing Children's Hospital]:
    "There are a large number of patients with breathing problems at our hospital, everyday we have about seven or eight-thousand out-patients, seven or eight-thousand per day. We have over 900 beds and all of them are full."

    One resident whose home is less than a mile from the Beijing TV Tower says it's difficult to leave the house.

    [Beijing Resident]:
    "You go out and you can't breathe, taking medicine doesn't help, you're all blocked up, after walking you'll be sweating all over. You cannot see the TV tower. It's all grey. You can't see anything. The atmosphere is really gloomy."

    Others are also having breathing problems.

    [Mr. Liu, Beijing Resident]:
    "Today I went out for probably two hours, when I came back I felt my nose was especially blocked, my body felt really uncomfortable."

    Authorities have insisted the smog is just fog and not pollution, but the pollution index broadcast hourly via Twitter from the US Embassy in Beijing says otherwise. The index has frequently shown 'hazardous' or 'unhealthy' readings all week.

    Local authorities are measuring larger particles, so they get a healthier reading.