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Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:49 AM

On Scale of 0 to 500, Beijing’s Air Quality Tops ‘Crazy Bad’ at 755

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/science/earth/beijing-air-pollution-off-the-charts.html

On Scale of 0 to 500, Beijing’s Air Quality Tops ‘Crazy Bad’ at 755
By EDWARD WONG

BEIJING — One Friday more than two years ago, an air-quality monitoring device atop the United States Embassy in Beijing recorded data so horrifying that someone in the embassy called the level of pollution “Crazy Bad” in an infamous Twitter post. That day the Air Quality Index, which uses standards set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, had crept above 500, which was supposed to be the top of the scale.

So what phrase is appropriate to describe Saturday’s jaw-dropping reading of 755 at 8 p.m., when all of Beijing looked like an airport smokers’ lounge? Though an embassy spokesman said he did not immediately have comparative data, Beijing residents who follow the Twitter feed said the Saturday numbers appeared to be the highest recorded since the embassy began its monitoring system in 2008.

The embassy’s @BeijingAir Twitter feed said the level of toxicity in the air was “Beyond Index,” the terminology for levels above 500; the “Crazy Bad” label was used just once, in November 2010, before it was quickly deleted by the embassy from the Twitter feed. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, levels between 301 and 500 are “Hazardous,” meaning people should avoid all outdoor activity. The World Health Organization has standards that judge a score above 500 to be more than 20 times the level of particulate matter in the air deemed safe.


People refused to venture outdoors and buildings disappeared into Beijing's murky skyline on Sunday as the capital's air quality went off the index. -- PHOTO : AP

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Reply On Scale of 0 to 500, Beijing’s Air Quality Tops ‘Crazy Bad’ at 755 (Original post)
jsr Jan 2013 OP
doc03 Jan 2013 #1
SharonAnn Jan 2013 #3
malthaussen Jan 2013 #2

Response to jsr (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:59 AM

1. I remember when Pittsburgh was like that. They told us back in the

day that the smoke made jobs.

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Response to doc03 (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 11:28 PM

3. Right. The polluters say "It smells like money"!

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:29 AM

2. I lived in that Pittsburgh.:)

In McKee's Rocks, no less, which is on the hills right above where the steel mills used to be.

That photo of Beijing just makes me feel nostalgic.

-- Mal

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