China versus Japan; the winner: Pollution

By Email author - Tue, 05 Feb 2013 16:14:27 GMT
China versus Japan; the winner: Pollution

Air Pollution over the Yangzi River in Wuhan; Credit: © Shutterstock

China blows no sweet kisses at Japan

When China began exploiting their giant coal deposits and creating more electricity for their growing numbers of factories, they simply ignored many anti-pollution possibilities.

Beijing, Haozhou, Shanghai,Tientsin are all now shrouded in a funereal smog. Even though other Asian cities have similar problems with forest smoke, few have any similar hazardous industrial smog. The dangers of these multiple industrial emissions are manifold.

It is also political dynamite, now that Japan has been penetrated several times. These particles of soot-like dust (and the rest) have to be eradicated. The lack of control is obvious. While political control in China is totalitarian, free rein is allowed to industries to make a profit.

We have seen it all before, so it's essential to call it a day this time, as we are aware of the potential. The danger of allowing such extreme air pollution to get out of control affects health especially, but also global warming and all the ecological dangers against which we all stand.

The southern island of Japan is Kyushu, with a major city, Fukuoka, close to high pollution levels in the Pacific air-stream. The whole west of Japan is affected by this pollution of tiny air-borne particulate matter. Government limits have been exceeded for several days, according to the NIES, represented by Atsushi Simizu.

At <2.5micrometres, these particles have been recorded at concentrations of 50microgrammes /m3 in Kyushu, 15 microgrammes above that government limit. Previous contamination has been mere sand particles, much bigger and sourced naturally from the Gobi desert. For ten years, the Japanese air pollution monitors have detected similar Chinese air pollution; including very hazy clouds in 2011. Extremely large amounts of various pollutants will be present in Kyushu over these next few days, according to forecasters.

The appeal from Japan to use filtering equipment on industrial plants may not go down well with the Chinese authorities. There is a yawning need for action for the sake of Chinese health at least. There is valuable experience worldwide of industrial pollution, so the likely content of these emissions is known. Their filtration can also be arranged, if China can be so persuaded.

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Topics: Air Pollution / Pollution