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Xiamen to extend monitoring areas of PM2.5 to the whole city in 2012

The grey smog that blanketed most cities in the north and south China in the past few days has brought the PM2.5 to the spotlight, which is mainly to be blamed for the fog that not only disrupted traffic, but also decreased air quality.

PM 2.5, or particulate matter under 2.5 micrometers in size, refers to the fine airborne particles that are considered extremely hazardous to people’s health as they go deeper into the lungs than the larger particles that exist in the air.

But, China currently uses PM10, or particular matter under 10 micrometers, to measure air quality.

Despite the fact that many cities in China now do not monitor PM 2.5, Xiamen, however, has started keeping track of PM 2.5 since 2010, said Xiamen Environmental Monitoring Central Station.

“At present, two of the 4 state-controlled environment & air monitoring stations in Xiamen has already started monitoring PM2.5 in real time, and another eight automatic air monitoring stations will join the monitoring of PM2.5 next year. By then, Xiamen will cover the monitoring of PM2.5 to the whole city.” said Zhuang Mazhan, chief engineer of the Xiamen Environmental Monitoring Central Station.

But the monitoring data is now only used for scientific research and will not be made available to the public until introduction of new national standards.

Click to read Chinese version


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