News / Asia

Smog Prompts China to Close Schools, Stop Outdoor Activities

FILE - A woman walks with her child on a street as schools were closed due to the heavy smog in Jilin, northeast China's Jilin province.
FILE - A woman walks with her child on a street as schools were closed due to the heavy smog in Jilin, northeast China's Jilin province.
Reuters
Chinese cities should close schools, cut working hours and stop outdoor activities during the most severe spells of air pollution, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said on Wednesday.
 
“Every possible compulsory measure” must be taken to cut emissions during the heaviest smog, which has a serious impact on health, the ministry said, including suspending factory production and imposing traffic restrictions.
 
The ministry's guidelines, issued in a circular, come as China grapples with frequent choking smog in its big cities, a consequence of years of breakneck economic growth that has fuelled public anger.
 
State media recently reported that an 8-year-old-girl who lived near a busy thoroughfare in the coastal province of Jiangsu had been diagnosed with lung cancer. The case of the girl, called the country's youngest lung cancer patient, has sparked a public outcry.
 
Despite frequent calls for cutting pollution over recent years, and growing public anger, the problem has only got worse.
 
Schools and workplaces typically operate as normal in all but the most severe smog, even when it reaches hazardous levels.
 
Primary and middle schools suspended classes last month in the northeastern city of Harbin during a smog emergency. The airport and some bus routes were also closed.
 
China must also toughen anti-pollution measures on industry and reduce its dependence on coal, which produces more than three quarters of electricity, the Environment Ministry said.
 
Public security departments should also toughen checks on vehicles, including phasing out older ones, and ensure there are not too many on the roads, it said.
 
China said in September it would slash coal consumption and shut down polluting mills, factories and smelters, though experts have said implementing the measures would be tough.
 
Air pollution is expected to worsen this winter because of a chronic natural gas shortage.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs