China’s air pollution can sometimes be seen from space, as it is visible in satellite images taken by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 2013. The thick air pollution, which is estimated to affect at least 30 Chinese cities, is thought to be attributable to the significant usage of coal as fuel. Satellite images have shown patches of smog that stretch more than 745 miles (1,200 km) across China. The particulate matter (PM) in China’s air has been measured at more than 14 times what experts consider to be a safe level.
More about pollution:
- PM that is less than 2.5 microns, or about one-thirtieth the size of a strand of hair, can be hazardous to one's health because they are small enough to be ingested into the lungs.
- The air quality index in Beijing, China’s capital city, has been measured at 1.5 times higher than the level that is considered to be dangerous to human beings.
- Negative health issues attributed to air pollution are estimated to affect more than 100 million people globally.