PM2.5 spikes to spur alerts to stay inside

Kyodo

Authorities will urge residents to stay indoors if the level of toxic smog spreading to Japan from China is expected to exceed twice the maximum limit set by the central government, officials said.

The Environment Ministry guidelines say prefectural governments will recommend that people, especially those with heart or lung diseases, the elderly and children, refrain from going outside or ventilating their homes if the average amount per day of the air pollutant PM2.5 (particulate matter 2.5 microns in diameter) is projected to top 70 micrograms per cubic meter.

The ministry has set a limit of less than 35 micrograms for the pollutant found in toxic smog. The alert will be issued if the level exceeds 85 micrograms in an hour in the early morning, since the average amount per day would then be expected to surpass 70 micrograms, based on past monitoring data analysis.

The alerts will be not legally binding, according to the ministry, which set the guidelines based on findings on health hazards caused by PM 2.5 and standards in the United States.

The hazardous particulate matter PM2.5 can be absorbed by the lungs and cause heart and lung disease.

  • holdbar

    What about other toxins emitted from China, like: mercury, ozone and sulfur (acid rain)?

    The mercury emitted from coal burning in China is contaminating pristing lakes in Washington State’s Olympic National Park. Japan’s waters must be contaminated also.

    China’s ozone has been found on top Mt. Bachelor in Oregon. Japan must get ozone from China also.

  • OR

    Instead of using coal as an energy source for developing the country, China should invest in clean energy such as wind and solar power. That way, Japan and countries around it won’t have to suffer from large doses of PM2.5, carbon dioxide, and other toxic gases emitted by coal.