Smog obscures the Beijing skyline as China copes with heavy pollution. The country's foreign ministry says it is taking emergency measures to curb emissions and deal with the problem. Japan is also preparing for its air quality to suffer as it anticipates trade winds will carry particulate matter from its neighbour. Authorities have added new monitoring stations and ordered more research in response. Air pollution is measured in terms of particulate matter 2.5 micrometres in diameter, which are absorbed by the lungs and can cause respiratory and heart diseases. Levels above 20 micrograms per cubic metre a day are not recommended, and the World Health Organization considers levels above 300 hazardous. Last month China saw levels spike above 700. Local media has said pollution levels in some areas peaked briefly last week above Japan's legal limits of 35 but have since fallen.
Feb. 5 - Japanese authorities order new research and monitoring as neighbouring China sees pollution spike far above safe levels. Lindsey Parietti reports. ( Transcript )
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