Jan. 26, 2020
Ministry of Environmental Protection May Change Air Quality Measurement Standards
To date, the inclusion of an 8-hour average ozone concentration measure and particulates shorter than 2.5 micrometers in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) in mainland China’s air quality measurement standards has been a hotly debated topic. According to a report, inclusion of these two standards is in initial planning phases, and the new standards are expected to come out by the end of the year.
China’s air quality measurement standards, first written in 1982, were amended in 1996 to include 10 pollutants, up from the original 6. In 2000, China eliminated the measurement of nitrogen oxide, instead broadening measurements of ozone and sulfur dioxide. In a recent report, the MEP argued that an 8-hour average concentration measure is the international standard and that a 1-hour average concentration measure is no longer sufficient. Concentrations below 120 micrograms per cubic meter are considered a health risk. Between 2001 and 2002, Beijing’s hourly ozone ranged from 14.4 to 232 micrograms per cubic meter, with an average of 88.9. China currently uses a PM10 standard to measure airborne particulates.
[Source: Beijing News]