Beijing Tells Residents to Stay Inside to Avoid Smog

Beijing warned its 20 million residents to avoid going outside for a fourth day because of unhealthy smog.

The concentration of PM2.5 -- the small particles that pose the greatest risk to human health -- was 90 micrograms per cubic meter in the capital as of 3 p.m., according to a U.S. Embassy monitor. That’s more than three times the World Health Organization’s recommendation of average day-long exposure to no more than 25 micrograms.

The city issued a yellow alert calling for measures such as more road cleaning, spraying water on construction sites and reduced excavation work to reduce dust, as well as advising people to spend less time outside. The alert was first issued March 24, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The pollution should ease tomorrow, Xinhua said.

Beijing’s air quality failed to meet government standards on 52 percent of days last year. Premier Li Keqiang has pledged to fight smog with the same zeal the government brought to tackling poverty.

— With assistance by Feifei Shen

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