by tdong1 on February 26, 2014 - 7:39pm

China is a rapid growth country, but recently it also is known for its serious air pollution. Specifically, in a recent article in Trends magazine, Kim & Jones (2013) they pointed out that the social awareness of Chinese air pollution began in 2008 when Beijing held the Olympic game, and the U.S. Embassy started to monitor the air condition of Beijing. From this, they found shocking results, and posted them on twitter, but people who live in the mainland of China and are experiencing this problem are actually finding out much later than those who are not. Their article also pointed out the reason of this is due to the “Great Chinese Firewall,” but when people finally know what is going on around them, Chinese government starts to “pleas and warning” the U.S. Embassy that the air monitor published results are potentially a risk of unintended social consequences. People already know about air pollution, and still the government does not instantly fix the issue, but instead they start put their own result which is always much lower than the result of U.S. Embassy.

Kim & Jones’ article (2013) discussed this issue in several directions, including the start, the reaction of Chinese government, law enforcement, and their opinion about the future of this issue. However, after all, they described and analyzed the pollution problem in depth, but most importantly, they didn’t give any clear information about how this issue can be really related to normal people. Unlike Kim & Jones’ article, another article had very detailed data. According to Emily’s article (2013), she focuses on one particular case known as “an 8-year-old girl with lung cancer,” and gives statistical data about “PM 2.5 readings (which measures the level of dangerous particulate matter in the air).” Normally if the PM2.5 reading is under 25 it means the air is healthy and safe for human living (Kim & Jones, 2013), but on those “bad days” of Harbin (a northern Chinese city) the reading can go over 500, and Reuters reports can be 1,000 or 40 times higher than the World Health Organization deems safe (Emily, 2013), and in the capital city Beijing, it can be worse, according to Kim & Jones (2013) it could be over 755 which is already the maximum of the equipment’s’ measure capacity. The details of Emily’s article help us to really understand what “40 times higher than the World Health Organization deems safe” really means to people.


Rauhala, Emily. (2013, November 5th). China’s Youngest Lung-Cancer Patient Is Just 8Years Old, and Pollution is to Blame. Time. Retrieved from Time.com. p.1.

Kim, Margret J., & Jones, Robert E.. (2013, May). Got mask? All choked up in Beijing. Trends. 44(5), 2-5. Retrieved from American Bar Association.


Hey thanks for posting this! Its good that you bring this issue up as often people will consider this to be only China's problem when in reality the Pollution will most likely cause Acid Rain in a country a couple of thousand miles away. This mass pollution is due to the massive boom, unprecedented in history, caused by free market economy implementation in China that raised some 1.2 billion Chinese from poverty to a higher standard of living. If you are interested in China I suggest you read "China Wakes" by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn. Its a light read of a first hand account of what happened in China during the protests of 1989. Really like that book hope you will take a glance at it!

First of all, I have to mention I really love your article's title. This matter is really intriguing. For now, we can assume only China is affected by this pollution. However, we never know when the whole world will be affected by this crisis since China has reached a crisis level air pollution. In my opinion, we should find a solution as soon as possible before other countries get affected by this air pollution. A certain solution according to Nathan Vanderklippe, in his article, "How to fix China’s pollution problem? It may not be able to afford it", would be cleaning the whole air in China by using a breakneck build-up of a green energy sector bought with a huge sums of money, more than a quarter-trillion dollars. For more information about this article, feel free to visit :

First off, great job on your article. It was very interesting (great title also) and clearly explained the measures in place to control this issue. It might seem crazy to think that there are some places like this in the world where the quality of the air is literally dangerous. However, having gone to China (Shanghai) two years ago, I can confirm that the situation is dramatic. I remember that almost half of the people in the city was wearing small facemasks that covered their mouth and nose because they did not want to get sick from all the smog. Personally, I didn’t have one of those and I remember my father and I had bad cough after only three days. I can just imagine how difficult it must be to live those conditions.

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