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.
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.