The average daily concentration of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), which is the primary source of smog, exceeded 190 micrograms per cubic meter in Beijing on January 23. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the maximum limit is 25 micrograms per cubic meter.

Report informs citing the data of the Beijing Environmental Protection Monitoring Center.

As of 10:00 local time (GMT +8), the average PM 2.5 concentration was 189 micrograms per cubic meter. In some areas of the city, the figure reached 197 micrograms per cubic meter. The Chinese capital’s air quality is forecast to improve on Tuesday next week (January 26).

In China, the primary sources of smog are road transport, coal-fired power plants, and steel mills. PM2.5 particles can penetrate the lungs and bloodstream of a person and accumulate in the body, leading to inflammation of blood vessels, arterial obstruction, and other diseases.

Thus, at the end of 2013, an emergency response plan for severe air pollution was adopted in Beijing and other large Chinese cities. It regulates city services and businesses’ actions following four environmental alert levels divided in ascending order into blue, yellow, orange, and red.