By Carlos Zahumenszky
This is the case of the city of Shenyang, in the northeast of the country. Its air pollution measurement stations this weekend registered PM 2.5 levels higher than 1,400 micrograms per cubic meter of air. This is 56 times the limit recommended by the World Health Organization. The atmosphere is so charged that visibility is reduced to a hundred meters.
By PM 2.5 we mean suspended particles smaller than 2.5 microns. In 2013, a British medical study confirmed the relationship between these particles and the increased incidence of lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
In many large cities in China, pollution levels have broken records since the country's authorities began measuring them in 2013. In Shenyang, companies have begun to force companies to replace coal with natural gas, but pollution spikes such as this are increasingly frequent and fill hospitals with consultations for respiratory problems.
Photos: AP Images