Beijing Smog to Ease After Last Week's Red Alert Amid Cold Wave

  • City issued lowest blue alert as pollution rose over weekend
  • Windy cold air to keep smog at bay late Monday to Thursday

Smog in Beijing.

Photographer: Xiao Lu Chu/Getty Images

A cold wave will likely clear up smog in Beijing later Monday after the city issued warnings this weekend for children and the elderly to stay inside as pollution levels rose again in the wake of its first-ever red pollution alert earlier this month.

The Chinese capital issued its lowest-level blue pollution alert on Saturday evening, predicting hazardous air quality to hover for 24 hours, according to the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center. Residents were told to take public transport instead of driving because of “heavy” pollution. A cold spell with windy air will gradually clear up the smog after noontime Monday and "good weather" will persist through Thursday, Beijing Times reported, citing local authorities.

The concentration of PM2.5 -- particulates considered the must dangerous to people’s health -- was 267 micrograms per cubic meter at 10 a.m. near Tiananmen Square, according to the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center. The World Health Organization cautions against 24-hour exposure to PM2.5 at concentrations higher than 25.

Beijing issued its most severe smog warning last week for the first time, a so-called red pollution alert, limiting industrial production, banning outdoor construction and halting classes at primary schools and kindergartens.

— With assistance by Sarah Chen

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