Aside from the northeastern provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and , the smog has also reached 20 other cities, according to Luo Ti, head of the Environmental Monitoring Department under the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
The concentration of PM2.5, fine particulates that can be hazardous to human health, reached 1,107 micrograms per cubic meter as of Sunday in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning Province, according to the city’s Environmental Protection Bureau. The national safety level for PM2.5 is 75 micrograms per cubic meter.
The reading was as high as 1,400 at some monitoring sites in Shenyang, and as a result, the city government ratcheted its emergency response level to the highest tier on Sunday afternoon.
According to the report, winds from Jilin and Heilongjiang Provinces are the main culprits as it carried air pollutants.
“Although I wore a mask on Sunday, I still had a sore throat and eyes after walking for a while,” said Kong Lin, a 32-year-old Shenyang resident.
The concentration of PM2.5 in Changchun, Jilin, reached 860 micrograms per cubic meter at 8 a.m. on Monday, and another 17 cities in the region also had severe air pollution, according to the ministry.
However, Chai Fahe, deputy director of the China Research Academy of Environmental Science, stated that Beijing’s air quality will not deteriorate further.
Chai explained that northern winds usually blow in the area, which could lead pollutants away from the capital. The Shenyang environmental watchdog has also stated that coal consumption has soared to provide heating since Nov 1.
He Kebin from Tsinghua University’s School of Environment encourages local governments to come up with solid plans to curb air pollution.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection has predicted that the smog will persist until Saturday, Nov. 14.