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More detailed PM 2.5 readings set for Beijing next month

(Global Times)

08:12, September 10, 2012

Starting early next month, Beijing will release new measurements of hazardous airborne pollutants known as PM 2.5, from eight newly-established and 27 upgraded monitoring stations scattered around the city, the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center said on its official Sina Weibo over the weekend.

The eight new stations, of which five will be set along the second, third and fourth ring roads, and other major traffic arteries, will detect the emissions with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers, which can adversely affect human health, said the center.

"The stations at major traffic areas aim to reflect the pollution situation along the arteries and will narrow the gap between how the residents feel and the actual air quality condition and will offer help in determining air pollution policymaking," said Zhang Dawei, director of the municipal center.

According to the Xinhua News Agency, research by environmental officials shows that more than 22 percent of the PM 2.5 in downtown is caused by vehicle exhaust.

The 27 existing detection stations across the city have been or will be upgraded with equipment capable of detecting PM 2.5.

Three other new stations, used to study the pollutant's migration in the region, will be positioned in the suburban areas, pushing the total number of such stations to six.

The center said the air quality in Beijing is directly affected by pollution in neighboring cities, especially during severely polluted days when the larger region can be covered by a shroud of pollutants. This makes it critical for the capital to coordinate with other regional cities in tackling air pollution.

A new edition of the AQI (air quality index) will be put into use from the beginning of next year, allowing residents to track the data released by all 35 stations in the city on the municipal center's website.

Environment officials will convert the measurement of PM 2.5 into the AQI, aiming to facilitate the resident's reference of the air quality

Considering the huge size of the city, about 40 kilometers from the East Fifth Ring to the West Fifth Ring at its center axis, the municipal center said it is on its way increasing the reliability of its readings.

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