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China’s cities show modest air quality improvement

In the latest round of testing, 19 Chinese cities satisfied air-quality standards. (adam greenfield/flickr/cc)

Finally, there’s some good news about China’s urban air quality.

Seventy-five percent of the nation’s major cities failed to meet air quality standards when tested last month. While that may not sound like much to cheer about, Adam Rose reports for Reuters that it’s a big improvement. By comparison, 90 percent of China’s major cities failed to meet the threshold in June 2014.

Put another way, 19 cities satisfied air standards in the latest testing, according to data released by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the article says. Last year, only five urban areas in China hit the benchmark.

The improvement is attributed to a “war on pollution” that has reduced burning of coal and cleaned up some industrial practices, Rose notes. But some cities continue to struggle with filthy air. Smog-ridden Beijing was below acceptable pollution levels about 60 percent of the days its air was tested in June. 


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