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Kunming to monitor airborne particulate matter

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The Kunming skyline near Haigeng on March 5
The Kunming skyline near Haigeng on March 5

Kunming will install air monitoring equipment in two locations – one downtown, one on the outskirts of the city – to keep an eye on the amount of airborne particulate matter, municipal environment officials told Kunming Daily on March 12.

The first two air quality monitoring stations will be set up at Dongfeng Dong Lu and Longquan Town.

The Kunming air quality monitors will be able to detect particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers, commonly known as PM2.5, which can penetrate deep into lung tissue and affect respiratory and circulatory functions.

American and UK medical authorities have documented a wide range of health problems stemming from PM2.5, including arterial plaque deposits, hardening of the arteries, vascular inflammation and increased risk of heart attack.

PM2.5 has served as a source of friction between the US Embassy in China and the Beijing government. The US Embassy's air monitor – which posts updated air quality data hourly via its Twitter feed - includes PM2.5 in its assessments, whereas municipal officials do not publish such data.

Exhaust from cars, buses and trucks is one of the most common sources of PM2.5. Recent municipal statistics show that the city was adding 1,000 cars to its streets each day.

A government tender has reportedly been issued for the air monitoring equipment, which is expected to be put into use by June of this year. No details regarding plans to publish PM2.5 data online have been made public.

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I'll be the first in line to protest if they decide not to release those figures!

I have a lung condition so I check the real pollution index every day. I have been able to go out two days in the last month-it wasn't like this last y ear. I am getting out of here asap. Most expats do not have lung conditions so don't think it is affecting them-bah ha ha -it is going to get you too. I can feel it in my lungs and gauge the index- I am usually right on target. Spring City has become a death trap-

Hmm...maybe THAT's what happened a few days ago - I thought I was having a sustained heart attack or seriously bad indigestion - chest pain directly in the solar plexus region - difficulty breathing...Felt like I'd swallowed a golf ball and it wouldn't go all the way down.

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