Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Let The Games Begin

In order to prepare for the air quality in China, some athletes are working out after inhaling off exhaust pipes.

photo of smog in China

I've never been to China. Apparently it really looks like this in the city on a clear day.

I heard a BBC broadcast yesterday in which reporters were testing air quality in Beijing, and testing pollutants against the standard of the World Health Organization's air quality guidelines. I found the story on line here.

"The conclusion: One day lived up to the WHO's air quality guidelines.
Three days lived up to the WHO's more generous interim targets.
Three days were so polluted that they were outside even the WHO's most generous targets. The most polluted day - 4 July - was seven times worse than the WHO's air quality guidelines."

The world's top marathon runner has asthma and has said he won't run in the marathon there because of the air.

Somewhere this morning I read 1000 new cars a day are hitting the streets in China.

The National Geographic released a story today:

China, the world's fastest growing economy, has earned another startling superlative: the highest annual incidence of premature deaths triggered by air pollution in the world, according to a new study. A World Health Organization (WHO) report estimates that diseases triggered by indoor and outdoor air pollution kill 656,000 Chinese citizens each year, and polluted drinking water kills another 95,600.

China says it's going to clean up the air before the Olympics. It's going to shut down coal fired plants in the city, limit car use, freeze construction.

And then the games will be over.

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