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    A man wearing a mask walks along a road in heavy pollution in Beijing on December 1, 2015

    Beijing Shuts Factories, Closes Schools Over Air Pollution

    © AP Photo/ WANG ZHAO
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    Air pollution in Beijing is 36 times higher than World Health Organization safety levels, according to media reports.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Beijing factories have been forced to close while schools have canceled classes as local authorities introduce urgent measures to address the extremely high levels of air pollution in the Chinese capital, media reported on Tuesday.

    According to the BBC, air pollution in Beijing is 36 times higher than World Health Organization safety levels. Readings of 900 micrograms of airborne matter of less than 2.5 microns in diameter per cubic meter have been registered in southern Beijing compared to the recommended safe level of 25 micrograms.

    The air pollution crisis in Beijing escalated three days ago due to a cold snap that has increased coal consumption by both power plants and households.

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