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|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Unhealthy|| 169 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Pingdingshan is currently 17.9 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Sunday, Dec 4|
Unhealthy 158 US AQI
|Monday, Dec 5|
Unhealthy 167 US AQI
|Tuesday, Dec 6|
Unhealthy 178 US AQI
Unhealthy 169 US AQI
|Thursday, Dec 8|
Unhealthy 162 US AQI
|Friday, Dec 9|
Unhealthy 160 US AQI
|Saturday, Dec 10|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 101 US AQI
|Sunday, Dec 11|
Moderate 81 US AQI
|Monday, Dec 12|
Moderate 63 US AQI
|Tuesday, Dec 13|
Good 30 US AQI
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Pingdingshan is a prefecture-level city in central Henan province, China. Pingdingshan means “mountain with a flat top” and as such, the city is named after a nearby plateau, the top of which is very flat. As a prefecture-level city, it oversees and controls 4 districts, 2 county-level cities and 4 counties. A census conducted in 2010 estimated the population to be almost 5 million out of which 1.7 million live in the metropolitan area although this figure will no doubt have increased during the last 11 years. The area around Pingdingshan has extensive mineral resources such as coal, manganese, salt, iron, aluminium, fluorite and gypsum. There are also approximately 10.3 billion tons of coal reserves in the area which make it the largest coalfield in the entire south and east of China. Salt and limestone are two other resources found in abundance here.
During the first half of 2021, Pingdingshan was experiencing a period of “Unhealthy” air with a US AQI reading of 151. This classification is in accordance with the guidelines established by the World Health Organisation (WHO). When deciding on how polluted the air is, there are six main pollutants that are measured and used as a benchmark when comparing other cities/areas. The recorded concentrations of those six pollutants are as follows: PM2.5 - 55.5 µg/m³, PM10 - 80 µg/m³, ozone (O3) - 56 µg/m³, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - 25.5 µg/m³, sulphur dioxide (SO2) - 10 µg/m³ and carbon monoxide (CO) - 600 µg/m³. The figures are stated as microns/micrograms per cubic metre.
The advice given to the general public when air pollution is at these elevated levels is to stay indoors as much as possible and close doors and windows to prevent the ingress of more dirty air into the rooms. Consider using an air purifier if you have access to one. Those groups of people who are extra sensitive to pollutants should avoid venturing outside until the air quality improves. The table at the top of this page will help you plan ahead as to when the air is cleaner. Even healthy people are advised to avoid strenuous outdoor exercise until the air quality improves.
Air pollution can be very volatile as it is affected by many things and can change within a very short period of time. The recorded figures for 2020 have just been released by the Swiss company IQAir.com on its website. On closer examination of the table of figures, it can easily be seen that the best quality air is enjoyed through the summer months from the beginning of May until the end of September. The quality for this period was “Moderate” with figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. The air quality during spring was slightly worse with figures between 35.5 and 55.4 µg/m³ which put it in the “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” classification. As expected, the colder winter months from October through to the end of February saw the worst quality with “Unhealthy” levels between 55.5 and 150.4 µg/m³.
Records were first kept in 2017 when the recorded annual average was 67.3 µg/m³, a slight improvement was seen the following year with a figure of 65.1 µg/m³. The year 2019 saw another improvement when the annual figure was 60.1 µg/m³ and another fall was seen in 2020 when the mean figure was just 51.2 µg/m³. But this could be artificially lower because of the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic which restricted the movement of private vehicles and suspended some industrial activity.
As is the case with most large industrialised cities, the bulk of air pollution comes from human activity. Vehicle emissions, factory emissions and emissions from power generating sites. Dust rising from dry roads adds to this cocktail.
This is especially true for Pingdingshan because of the huge amount of minerals that are found in the surrounding areas. It is estimated that there are over 24 billion tons of limestone in the province which makes it a major producer of cement and related products.
The province is also the second-largest producer of salt with estimated reserves of over 230 billion tons.
The Municipal Bureau of Housing and Urban-rural Construction shall increase on-site supervision of building construction, road construction, building demolition, etc., increase the frequency of spraying water on construction sites to reduce dust, reduce the scale of earth excavation and implement mechanised washing of the entrance and exit roads to construction sites. Garbage, waste materials, etc.; prohibit the burning of garbage and fallen leaves, increase the frequency and scope of road mechanised cleaning (flushing), reduce manual cleaning; take measures such as watering, covering, and sealing of material piles in open transportation vehicles in order to prevent dust pollution. They shall strengthen the supervision of vehicles transporting coal, sand and gravel and other easily scattered powdered materials around the urban area. Those vehicles that have not taken dust-proof measures such as covering will be prohibited from passing.
The police force on duty will be increased in major traffic congestion sections who will promptly and effectively monitor traffic, shorten the idling times of motor vehicles to reduce motor vehicle exhaust pollution. Intensify law enforcement on road traffic, and prevent freight vehicles from entering the urban area in violation of regulations.
Today, air pollution has become an unavoidable reality in the lives of urban residents all over the world. With the development of industrial civilisation and cities, while industry is creating huge wealth for mankind, it also discharges billions of tons of waste gas and other waste materials into the atmosphere. The atmosphere on which mankind depends has become an air trash depot and poisonous gas repository.
Nearly 90 per cent of air pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and nearly two-thirds are in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific regions.
94 per cent are caused by non-communicable diseases, especially cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. Air pollution also increases the risk of severe acute respiratory infections.
Indoor air pollution is serious, which can easily cause respiratory diseases, chronic lung diseases, bronchitis and other diseases. Therefore, people should be paying more and more attention to indoor air quality.