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Ulaanbaatar tops smog-ridden Beijing in air pollution

Air pollution in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is worse than in Beijing. (Einar Fredriksen/flickr/cc)

Beijing has been in the news all week for its severe air pollution, but another city in the region has smog that’s far worse. Michael Kohn reports for Bloomberg that the air in Mongolia — including the capital, Ulaanbaatar — is five times more polluted than in Beijing.

Particulate levels are nearly 80 times higher than the threshold recommended by the World Health Organization, the article says. The situation is blamed on power plants that belch soot and the burning of raw coal for warmth in shantytowns, the article says.

Ulaanbaatar residents upset about the situation plan to hold a protest next week, Kohn writes. The gathering will be held in the city’s central plaza. Beijing officials issued their first “red alert” this year in response to the smog and temporarily closed or reduced production at 1,200 factories.


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