China Air Pollution: 80% of Cities in Breach of National Standards

By Eliana W. Ostine, January 27, 2016 08:01 AM

Air pollution(Greanpeace)

A new report by Greenpeace of East Asia states that air pollution levels fell by 10.3% in China’s major city in 2015, however 80% of cities are still in breach of national standards.

Reports shows that the average concentration of dangerous PM2.5 particulate in the air of 366 major cities has fallen to 50.2 micrograms. China is making efforts to clean up air pollution, and it appears to be having an effect. However, it remains well over the government-set standard, which is 35 micrograms, and the standard, which is 10 micrograms of WHO, says the ChinaDialogue.

The new report, named 2015 China City Ranking, states that the five major municipalities or provinces with the worst levels of PM2.5 pollution were Henan, Beijing, Hebei, Tianjin and Shandong. The purest air was found in Hainan, Tibet, Fujian and Guizhou.


2013 2014 and 2015 Beijing PM2.5 30-day moving average
2013 2014 and 2015 Beijing PM2.5 30-day moving average


Beijing’s average PM2.5 level ranked 27 with 80.4µg/m3, fell 3.3% year-on-year from 2014 to 2015.  Shanghai ranked 144 with 53.9µg/m3, seeing an increase of 3%, which is said to be partly down to the government’s failure to enforce clear targets for reducing coal consumption. 

The five cities with the highest annual average concentrations of PM 2.5 in 2015 were: Kashagar, Baoding, Dezhou, Xingtai and Hengshui. The five cities with the lowest annual average concentrations of PM2.5 last year were: Linzhi, Altay, Lijiang, Diqing and Sanya.

The national average concentration of PM2.5 in all 366 cities was 50.2%. 

Out of 366 cities, 293 cities, or 80.1%, did not reach ‘national Ambient Aire Quality Standard’ level.

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