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Law amendment urged to combat air pollution (4)

By Jiao Meng (

14:16, February 22, 2013

Beijing and Shanghai PM 2.5 source pie charts show that motor vehicles contribute over 20% of PM 2.5 polluiton. [Provided by Michael P. Walsh]

Higher standard to clean air

The revised air quality standard includes index PM2.5, and will be implemented nationwide by January 1, 2016, Xinhua reported.

The government monitors PM2.5 in four municipalities, 27 provincial capitals and three key regions -- east China's Yangtze River Delta, south China's Pearl River Delta and the northern Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area beginning last year.

Mr. Chai believes that this new standard also brings more challenges. "Air quality in over 80 percent of China’s 118 major cities holds to the old standard," he said. "The situation is grim."

Mr. Chai believes that this law should play a greater role in ensuring people’s good health from pollution as well as safeguarding their environmental rights.

More expectations

Professor Hao proposed in a report that an independent bureau should be established to manage air quality issues, similar in scope to the National Nuclear Safety Administration.

"There are many departments involved in this field. What we need is to deal with this problem more effectively and collectively," he said. "We should attach the same level of importance to air pollution as nuclear safety."

"The latest statistics from the Beijing Health Bureau show that lung cancer morbidity rates have surged 56 percent between 2001 and 2010 in Beijing. Air pollution is one of the primary causes. A sound and powerful law will showcase government’s sincere heart to protect air and environment," wrote an editorial from the Beijing News newspaper.

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