Why Chinese air pollution doesn’t kill anyone

JunkScience has discovered the key to fatal air pollution episodes. The NYTimes supports the discovery today.

As we’ve been reporting, smog season has begun in China with PM2.5 (fine particulate or soot) levels hitting an unbelievable 1,400 micrograms per cubic meter. This level is 56 times greater than the “safe” level determined by the World Health Organization and 140 times greater than average PM2.5 levels in the U.S. Why is no one dying as EPA claims should be happening?

The NYTimes inadvertently reports the reality today:

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High concentrations of sulfur dioxide are the necessary ingredient to fatal episodes of air pollution. Particulate matter is innocuous, but ultra-high concentrations of SO2 are not — especially in people who are health compromised (elderly and sick). History bears this out as I will reveal in my forthcoming book.

So although PM2.5 levels have hit astonishingly high levels in China, no one is dying because SO2 levels are not elevated.