An estimated 8,572 premature deaths occurred in four major Chinese cities in 2012, due to high levels of PM2.5 pollution, a joint study by Greenpeace East Asia and Peking University’s School of Public Health has concluded.
Toyota Motor Corp and China’s Tsinghua University join study PM2.5 air pollutants report said. The research will focus on PM2.5, dangerous particulates with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns that are causing serious air pollution and health problems in China, is a rare instance of cooperation between the two countries at a time when the bitter sovereignty dispute over the Japan-held Senkaku Islands is intensifying.
The report also estimates PM2.5 pollution caused the cities of Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xi’an and Beijing to suffer a combined total of US$1.08 billion in economic losses over the past year.
Greenpeace is calling for an urgent policy adjustment, including capping regional coal consumption, De-NOx retrofiting for existing coal-fired power plants, and shutting down inefficient coal-fired industrial boilers.
Reportedly, “PM2.5: Measuring the human health and economic impacts on China’s largest cities” states that if these cities can effectively lower their PM2.5 levels to meet the World Health Organization’s Air Quality Guidelines (WHO AQG), such deaths would be reduced by at least 81%, and the economic losses for these four cities could be reduced by $US868 million. Unfortunately no cities currently have a timeline to meet WHO AQG.