China has ordered thousands of factories to shut as it grapples with swathes of choking smog that were nearly 24 times safe levels on Tuesday (Dec 1), casting a shadow over the country’s participation in Paris climate talks.
A thick grey haze shrouded Beijing, with the concentration of PM 2.5, harmful microscopic particles that penetrate deep into the lungs, climbing as high as 598 micrograms per cubic metre.
The reading, given by the US embassy, dwarfs the maximum recommended by the World Health Organisation, which is just 25 micrograms per cubic metre. Levels in Jinan, a provincial capital hundreds of kilometres away, reached over 400.
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