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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Chinese public look favorably on tighter air-quality standard

(Xinhua)

20:38, December 07, 2011

BEIJING, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- A government proposal for a tighter system of monitoring pollution nationwide, including using the "PM 2.5" measure of microscopic airborne particles, has won support from a majority of the Chinese public, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said in a statement Wednesday.

The ministry published a draft of the revised Environmental Air Quality Standards on November 16 and solicited public feedback on it till Monday.

More than 1,500 comments from the public have been received and most of them support the PM 2.5 measure of airborne particular matter under 2.5 micrometers in size, the statement said.

The public also urged the government to publish the air-quality monitoring data in a more timely manner, it said.

China currently uses PM 10, which gauges particular matter under 10 micrometers, to measure air quality, but there has been a growing public movement to persuade the government to apply the tighter PM 2.5 standard, which measures finer matter considered more hazardous to people's health as it can penetrate deeper into the lungs.

Public discontent was fueled by discrepancy between the government's official data and the U.S. Embassy's measurements, after an incident where the U.S. Embassy in Beijing rated the air as "hazardous," while the city's Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau said the pollution was "slight."

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