High Temperatures Cause Hazardous Ozone Pollution to Rise in Beijing

By Justine Lopez, May 19, 2017

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The past couple days have been pretty gross. Not only are we in the middle of a potentially record breaking heatwave, but the air pollution has reached dangerously high levels because of the extreme temperatures. 

The air quality may not seem all that bad right now. After all, we did endure a 905 just a few weeks ago. But the type of pollution that will hover over Beijing this weekend is especially toxic and damaging to our health. 

What makes this bout of smog so hazardous is that the main pollutant is ground-level ozone. The presence of ozone causes photochemical smog to form, and this type of smog is very damaging to our lungs and overall health.

Photochemical smog is actually the most deadly type of air pollution. Exposure to ground-level ozone can cause headaches, coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest and shortness of breath.

Ozone is created from a complicated reaction caused by the combination of sunlight on pollutants containing hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, which come from burning coal and car exhaust. 

A mild cold front is expected to hit the capital on May 20-23, which may help bring pollution levels down, Shanghai Daily reports. Although it may not be enough to wipe it out.

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