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    A Chinese tourists takes a photo while wearing a face mask in Tiananmen Square as heavy air pollution continues to shroud Beijing on February 26, 2014

    China Air Pollution Levels ‘Falling Fast’ – Greenpeace

    © AFP 2019 / Mark RALSTON
    Environment
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    Air pollution levels in China have shown a significant downward trend since the start of 2015, the environmentalist group Greenpeace's East Asia branch said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Although figures for China in Greenpeace’s quarterly air quality rankings give cause for optimism, they are still dangerously higher than international or domestic standards, the campaign group indicated.

    "China is making a good start, but the goal of healthy, breathable air is still distant," it said.

    The average amount of hazardous PM2.5 airborne particles – that can penetrate lungs and cause cancer – dropped by 16 percent across 189 Chinese cities, compared to the first half of 2014.

    The capital Beijing saw PM2.5 rates decrease by 15 percent, while sulphur dioxide levels dropped by almost 43 percent.

    Greenpeace blamed coal-burning for creating the toxic clouds that still hang over much of China. It said the latest analysis linked the decrease in air pollutant levels to a 5-percent decline in industrial coal consumption in the first half of this year.

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