Thick Smog Shuts Down Beijing

For the second day in a row, residents of Beijing suffered through smog so thick it closed schools and shut down roads and factories.

Late Monday, the Chinese government issued a "red alert" for air pollution for the first time, as the polluted air over the city reached what's considered a hazardous level. That alert continued in the city for a second day Wednesday. The alert included alarms in the subways that sounded like bombing raid warnings as the city's 20 million residents were told to take precautions to protect their health.

Today the state-run network CCTV sent out a tweet with the following advice: “Smile and try to be positive (hopefully there will be less smog tomorrow).”

Other suggestions from the Beijing-based broadcaster included not going outside unless absolutely necessary, blowing your nose, drinking more tea, smoking less and even wiping down your skin after spending time outdoors.

Because of industrial coal burning, Chinese cities regularly have air quality rated among the worst in the world. Late in November, a pollution cloud hung over parts of Beijing filled with a concentration of fine, particulate matter that reached 40 times the exposure limit recommended by the World Health Organization.

Don't miss this week's Slice of History--the 1st use of anesthesia.

Sourced from: New York Times, Smog So Thick, Beijing Comes to a Standstill