Beijing saw 146 ‘blue sky days’ during the first half of the year, which means the city’s residents breathed in the least amount of pollutant in nine years.
Du Shaozhong, deputy chief of the Beijing municipal environmental protection bureau, said the blue sky days so far this year was 23 days more than the corresponding period last year and 47 days more than the average level in recent years.
In June, Beijing saw 25 days, or 83.3% of the total, with blue skies, which was the best among the corresponding months since 2000.
Beijing has a five-grade classification of air quality: a reading below 50 is ‘excellent;’ from 51 to 100 ‘fairly good;’ 101to 200 ‘slightly polluted;’ 201 to 300 ‘poor;’ and more than 301 ‘hazardous.’ Days with excellent or fairly good air quality are counted as blue sky days.
Environmental protection experts attributed the improvement of air quality to the reduced emission of pollutants and the after effect of measures taken during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
China View reported that the amount of pollutants related to vehicle emissions has not grown so far this year although the city has registered 200,000 more vehicles, because 55,000 heavy polluting vehicles were phased out.
Sandstorms during spring decreased from last year’s 11 to this year’s 6, which also benefited Beijing’s blue sky drive.