Pollution levels hit 20 times safe limit in northern China.

Guardian: “Days of heavy smog shrouding swathes of northern China pushed pollution to more than 20 times safe levels on Friday, despite government promises to tackle environmental blight.”
“Visibility dropped dramatically as measures of small pollutant particles known as PM2.5, which can embed themselves deep in the lungs, reached more than 500 micrograms per cubic metre in parts of Hebei, a province bordering Beijing.
The World Health Organization’s guideline for maximum healthy exposure is 25.
In the capital, buildings were obscured by a thick haze, with PM2.5 levels in the city staying above 300 micrograms per cubic metre since Wednesday afternoon and authorities issuing an “orange” alert.
….In a sign of growing environmental activism, Greenpeace East Asia projected the message “Blue Sky Now!” on to a facade of the Drum Tower, a historic building north of the Forbidden City.
The pollution – which also hit areas hundreds of kilometres from Beijing – comes as the city hosts a high-profile cycling tournament, the Tour of Beijing, and a Brazil-Argentina football friendly.”