Smog 'red alert' forces schools to close in Beijing

8th December 2015 at 12:48
picture of china smog

Schools closed this morning in Beijing, China, after government officials were forced to issue the city’s first ever “red alert” for pollution.  

Classes were cancelled and residents were advised to stay indoors as the air quality in the capital had reached hazardous levels.

The warning meant that about a third of the city’s cars were ordered off the road and construction sites were shut down in a bid to improve the air quality.

Beijing's Municipal Bureau of Environmental Protection said that the pollution would cloak the Chinese capital for several days.

According to reports, the air quality index showed that smog particles had reached more than 250 micrograms per cubic metre, a level deemed “very unhealthy” and 10 times the World Health Organisation’s maximum safe level.

The problem of air pollution affecting schools is not limited to China, however. Just last week, research by Policy Exchange and King’s College London showed that nearly one in four schoolchildren were breathing air deemed to be unsafe by EU standards.

The toxic level of pollution can lead to asthma, poor lung development and other respiratory problems.

The issue is a particular cause for concern for schools and parents because children’s lungs are less developed and more susceptible to damage caused by pollution.

Richard Howard, author of the report, said: “The case for tackling air pollution in London is clear. London’s air is unhealthy to breathe. Children are particularly vulnerable to unsafe levels of air pollution.”

Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow TES on Twitter and like TES on Facebook


Related Content

The China paradox

5th June 2015 at 01:00

China's education plan

14th May 2010 at 01:00

Chinese - Shining a light on China

4th December 2009 at 00:00

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now