Latest News:  
Beijing   Thundershower    26 / 17 ℃  City Forecast

Home>>China Society

Several provinces hit by heavy pollution

By Lu Chen (Global Times)

08:18, June 13, 2012

Severe air pollution in several provinces has triggered public outrage and prompted local governments to take action against the traditional burning of straw that has been pinpointed as the "arch-culprit."

Several cities in Hubei Province, including its capital Wuhan, were hit by heavy smoggy weather Monday.

Figures from the Wuhan Environmental Monitoring Center showed that the PM concentrations quickly rose from 7 am and reached 0.574 micrograms per cubic meter at 2 pm, compared to the standard of 0.150.

The Hubei Provincial Environmental Protection Department released its initial investigation results Monday afternoon, saying the possibility of industrial pollution being the cause had been eliminated, with the most likely culprit being the burning of straw in neighboring provinces.

The sudden invasion of haze was similar to one in Jiangsu Province over the weekend when residents of several cities felt suffocated while smelling something burning.

The Nanjing Environmental Protection Bureau (NEPB) announced on its official microblog on Saturday night that the instant value of the air pollution index jumped to 478, making it the most polluted city among the 120 cities publishing the same index.

The PM2.5 readings in 13 cities all greatly exceeded the standard as of Sunday night, according to the Yantze Evening News.

The rarely seen pollution even swept into some cities in Shandong and Henan provinces. The provincial observatory of Jiangsu issued a yellow warning signal for haze on Sunday, as did Wuhan Monday.

The NEPB on Sunday pointed to the burning of straw in Jiangsu and Anhui as the primary cause for the pollution, which was exacerbated by unfavorable meteorological factors.

The Nanjing city government later pledged to strengthen investigations into the straw burning, which was made illegal in 2009, and work to find an alternative to the outdated tradition.

Jiangsu produces more than 40 million tons of straw annually, ranking fourth nationwide, according to the bureau.

Zhang Jianyong, a deputy director of the Jiangsu Province Agricultural Commission, said straw was used by residents all year round as the main domestic fuel in the past, whereas now with the availability of different energy sources, it is collected and burnt after crops are harvested.

Zhang Yuanxun, a professor of resources and environment at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times Monday that the most direct way for farmers to get rid of waste straw is burning, as it does not cost any money or require any technical skills. In addition, the ash can be used as natural fertilizer.

He suggested that the government increase subsidies for farmers to encourage them not to burn waste straw.

"It is no exaggeration to say that the negative impact of these air pollutants on human health is similar to smoking several packs of cigarettes when people are exposed to it," he said.

Zhang Jianyong said addressing the problem cannot rely merely on administrative measures, suggesting that other options include comprehensive utilization by returning the straw to fields mechanically or having them industrialized.

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:梁军、马茜)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name

  

Selections for you


  1. Start-up ceremony of training of "Peace Mission 2012" held

  2. 2012 West Lake Lotus Expo kicks off in Hangzhou

  3. Haiyang-6 research vessel to provide deep sea dive support

  4. A visit to Qiang Nationality in S.W. China

Most Popular

Opinions

  1. Beijing Summit features five new aspects
  2. China’s courier industry primed for an overhaul
  3. Why China, US argue over PM2.5 data
  4. People's Daily Commentaries
  5. Nation needs private capital for resource demand
  6. Int'l board could give local stocks a run for money
  7. SCO is strategic choice for members
  8. Conditions not ripe for farm land privatization
  9. 'Going Global' a win-win game for both sides
  10. China is a strategic and reliable partner

What's happening in China

Delicate handmade dragon boat displayed in E China

  1. Opposition to EU's carbon law reiterated
  2. China commits to IMF funding
  3. Aviation industry sees stable growth
  4. Outsource of labor tightened in China
  5. Anhui Province to trial VAT program

China Features

  1. Astronaut team of Shenzhou-9 spacecraft debuts
  2. Innocent photography: Sleeping baby
  3. Maritime spat between China and DPRK
  4. High ticket prices, unaffordable landscapes
  5. People's Daily Online seeks English editor

PD Online Data

  1. Spring Festival
  2. Chinese ethnic odyssey
  3. Yangge in Shaanxi
  4. Gaoqiao in Northern China
  5. The drum dance in Ansai