Air Quality Standards to be Revised
The Ministry of Environmental Protection is now soliciting public opinion on their plans in revising air quality standards. The decision came when residents called for the government to release more information on pollution.
The new standards will include the readings of concentrations that are less than PM2.5 (particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers), which is a major cause of haze that is harmful to a person’s health. The new standards will also include the country’s existing Air Pollution Index that will be upgraded to Air Quality Index. This follows the international practice of including ozone and carbon monoxide pollution to the PM2.5 readings.
Although no date is set, the new standards will be implemented in unnamed key cities and regions, then the rest of the country will follow by 2016. The World Heath Organization air quality guidelines state that the average annual reading of OM2.5 under 10 micrograms is safe and the daily average must not go above 25 micrograms.
Major cities have recently been experiencing serious haze since an increase in vehicle numbers and coal usage have been seen in the recent years.