Ozone poses major threat to air quality in summer

Updated 2017-05-19 14:00:28 Ecns.cn

(ECNS) -- Ozone is expected to become a major source of air pollution this summer, as concentrations have been climbing across China in recent years, according to experts.

Rising temperatures, ozone and carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations will likely see increasingly higher peak levels, said Dr. Wang Qifeng, a member of the PM 2.5 expert panel at the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei air pollution prevention forum held in Langfang, Hebei Province on Wednesday. Emergency control measures may be taken this summer, he warned.

Last year, Langfang retreated from the list of China's top 10 cities with the poorest air quality. However, it saw concentrations of nitrogen oxides, CO and ozone rise 10.6 percent, 2.9 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively, said Wang. The number of days with ozone and nitrogen oxides as the major sources of pollution has also been on the increase recently, he added.

Zhang Yuanhang, a professor at Peking University, said ozone concentrations have been on the rise since China began to monitor the pollutant in 2013.

"In the Pearl River Delta, ozone and CO have overtaken PM 2.5 as the major sources of air pollution," said Zhang.

"We should not just look at PM 2.5; we should also consider ozone," said Zhang. "It's necessary to restrict emissions of both."

From Wednesday to Thursday, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the Yangtze River Delta reported air pollution ranging from "light" to "moderate" levels, and ozone was blamed as the major polluting source.

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