We all already knew that China had a problem with its smog, and now, it may be getting a little assistance.
The Associated Press reported on Dec. 10 that the Asian Development Bank has given China $300 million to clean up its capital. The goal is to help the country further develop environmental and clean energy policies for Beijing, as well as other areas of the Hebei province.
Satoshi Ishii, an ADB urban development expert, stated that poor air quality has reached a dangerous level near the capital. People are not just sick of inhaling smog, but businesses are tired of it, too — Ishii believes it may be hindering the area’s sustainable growth.
In addition to developing new policies, the ADB loan given to China is headedÂ toward reducing the province’s coal consumption and strengthening environmental enforcement. As a result, the bank expects carbon dioxide emissions to decline in the coming years.
Smog Reaches Dangerous Levels in China
The news of the ADB loan ironically emerged around the same time that China announced the closing of its schools and construction sites on Dec. 8. According to CNN, the move was made after Beijing issued its first “red alert” for pollution levels, designed to restrict the number of cars on the road.
The air quality index reached 250 at the time, which was 10 times higher than the World Health Organization’s recommendations. Now, it appears that the government is attempting to do everything it can to reduce carbon emissions. Outdoor barbecuing and fireworks have also been curbed in an effort to limit smog creation.
The Health Effects of Smog
Needless to say, smog can cause a number of health problems, whether it’s in China or at home. Pregnant women, individuals with lung disease, young children, and individuals with heart disease are most susceptible to the impact of smog, according to Spare the Air.
Long-term exposure can accelerate the aging of the lungs, reduce lung capacity and shorten overall lifespan. In the event that you believe you may be negatively affected by the air quality in your area, it’s best to speak with a medical professional as soon as you notice any symptoms.
Hunt, Kate. Lu, Shen. “Smog in China closes schools and construction sites, cuts traffic in Beijing.” CNN. December 8, 2015.
“Health Effects.” Spare the Air. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
“China to get $300 million from ADB for smog efforts.” Associated Press. December 10, 2015.