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Mountain air worse than city: study

[ 2009-11-27 11:28]     字号 [] [] []  
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An American doctor says Beijing's air pollution is no worse on its clogged ring roads than along its tree-lined canals.

Dr Richard Saint-Cyr, a family physician for the International Medical Center in Beijing, conducted a personal study using a handheld air particle scanner and published the findings on his blog titled 'My Health Beijing' at www.myhealthbeijing.com.

He wrote that pollution levels on ring roads were not higher than on surrounding roads.

"Many believe that the areas surrounding heavily trafficked roads have much higher pollution levels, but my readings were exactly the same 100 m away and were even the same around roads surrounding canals," he told METRO.

He says that canals are often thought to have a cleansing effect on the air, and that he was disappointed to find this was not the case.

His measurements were taken with a particle scanner that uses a laser to measure the amount of fine dust particles in the air. It’s a method similar to that used by the World Health Organization to determine air quality.

He said his readings surrounding the ring roads may not be entirely accurate, because his device could not measure other pollution indicators such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, both of which can be harmful.

"Bottom line? I would still recommend your outdoor strolls along the tree-lined canals instead of ring roads, if only for aesthetics and sanity, but perhaps the pollution is the same," he wrote.

Over the course of a week, Saint-Cyr took more than 200 readings, measuring air particles throughout the capital. He traveled one hour and a half out of Beijing to take air quality readings in the mountains surrounding the city.

"We've always had the perception that mountain air is supposed to be fresh," he said, "but the readings I took from the mountains showed almost twice as much pollution than in the city."

He attributed the increase to people burning autumn leaves and using coal-fired heaters, and said that this may not be the case in the summer.

Saint-Cyr's work has been recognized by the Health On The Net Foundation, a UN supported NGO whose goal is to support accurate and effective health information on the Internet.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Mountain air worse than city: study

About the broadcaster:

Mountain air worse than city: study

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.