Beijing — The Chinese government announced on Monday that Beijing authorities ordered 2,100 factories in the city to shut down or reduce production as one of the most concrete measures taken during the region’s red alert on unusually high smog levels.
The resolution came after the Chinese capital spent three days submitted to dangerous toxic haze. According to U.S. embassy’s readings, earlier this morning researchers found that there were several PM2.5 particles 172 micrograms per cubic meter.
PM2.5 are dangerous microscopic particles that can access into the lungs and pose different health threats. The former count represents almost seven times the recommended maximum exposure to such particles issued by the World Health Organization. The number ranked as the highest level in the country’s four- color smog warning system for four days starting from Saturday.
A Beijing Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology officer explained that the measure, in which 2,100 factories in the city and its whereabouts were either suspended or asked to cut down part of the production, had been taken as part of an emergency response plan with the goal of reducing gas emissions as much as possible.
The officer stated that authorities were sending inspectors to the factories every day. “[The factories] all strictly carried out the measures,” she commented.
The emergency response plan in front of a red alert also includes additional measures, such as temporarily banning the circulation of vehicles, with the exception of public transportation, taxis, electric cars, ambulances and other special transportation vehicles — to counter this, the subway has increased capacity.
According to the report, authorities recommended for kindergartens and schools to close for two days starting Monday in lights of the emergency situation. Students would receive their learning material online.
It also stated that the plan successfully reduced the concentration of PM2.5 by 30 compared to a situation where nothing is done to counter gas emissions. Environmental authorities expect the particle to shift to 300 micrograms per cubic meter by tomorrow.