Beijing Air Pollution Soars

    A woman wearing a mask crosses a road during severe pollution in Beijing on January 12, 2013. Air quality data released via the US embassy twitter feed recorded air quality index levels so hazardous that they were classed as 'Beyond Index'. By 4pm the particle matter (PM) 2.5 figure was 728 on a scale that stops at 500 at which point the US embassy website advises against all outdoor activity. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones        (Photo credit should read Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

    Ed Jones/AFP, via Getty

    The U.S. Embassy in Beijing recorded the highest levels of air pollution on Saturday since it began its monitoring system in 2008. The Environmental Protection Agency deems air pollution levels between 301 and 500 to be “hazardous,” meaning people should avoid all outdoor activity. On Saturday night the air-quality monitoring device above the U.S. Embassy in Beijing took a reading of 755, which the embassy’s @BeijingAir Twitter feed called “Beyond Index.” Using the same standards, the air quality index in New York City was found to be 19 at 6 a.m. on Saturday.

    Read it at The New York Times