Beijing air pollution off the charts

This is EPA’s chance (via natural vs. illegal human experiment) to show that PM2.5 kills.

Beijing PM2.5 levels hit 886 micrograms per cubic meter yesterday, according to the U.S. Embassy. We await reports of actual deaths.

[TODAYonline]

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4 responses to “Beijing air pollution off the charts

  1. Right. The only question is, who is going to report the observed outcomes?

  2. No there is a second question: How on earth are you going to tally them even if there are any? Cause of death: “Pm 2.5″ isn’t exactly a well known cause of death in China. Or in the world for that matter.

    • A well-designed study would compare deaths due to respiratory problems on days with different levels of PM2.5, compared by age group, across at least several hundred days of different readings. A city like LA or Beijing has a number of respiratory-disease deaths every day and it varies each day, which is why you need large samples for each level of PM2.5.
      As Mr. Milloy points out, there’s no very good evidence of any deaths directly related to transient levels of PM2.5. PM2.5 could still be a factor in development of pulmonary diseases like emphysema; it seems likely that it would be. But that’s a different study and a different kettle of fish from claiming transient PM2.5 levels are dangerous.

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