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Beijing, neighboring cities dominate Q3 smog list

Xinhua, October 22, 2014 Adjust font size:

Beijing and eight of its neighboring cities were among the 10 Chinese cities with the worst air quality in the third quarter of 2014, though they have seen improvement in the past three months, the ministry of environmental protection said on Tuesday.

The only city outside the notoriously smoggy Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region to make the list -- published by the environment ministry on a regular basis -- is Jinan, capital of east China's Shandong province, which topped the list.

It was followed by Tangshan, Baoding, Xingtai, Handan, Hengshui, Shijiazhuang, Beijing, Langfang and Tianjin. Aside from Beijing and Tianjin, all the other cities are in Hebei province.

The ministry said the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region on average suffered from air pollution on 45 percent of the days in the third quarter.

In September, however, the figure dropped to 34.3 percent -- a decrease of 20.6 percentage points from the same month last year -- suggesting "significant improvement of air quality in the region," the ministry said.

It did not say what were the major pollutant in the region, though earlier reports released in August had pointed to ozone and PM2.5.

China began to include PM2.5, a key indicator of air pollution, and ozone in its new air quality standard in 2013, as a series of choking smog spells raised public concerns.

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