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China names 10 most polluted cities

( Updated: 2015-02-02 13:00

China names 10 most polluted cities

A woman wearing mask looks up into the hazy sky in Beijing on Wednesday. Beijing issued a smog alert on Wednesday, days after the conclusion of the APEC summit. The hazy smog is expected to disperse tomorrow. [Photo/IC]

Nearly 90 percent of China's big cities failed to meet air quality standards in 2014, but that was still an improvement on 2013 as the country's "war on pollution" began to take effect, the environment ministry said on Monday.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection said on its website that only eight of the 74 cities it monitors managed to meet national standards in 2014 on a series of pollution measures such as PM2.5, which is a reading of particles found in the air, carbon monoxide and ozone.

China said last year it would "declare war on pollution" and it has started to eliminate substandard industrial capacity and reduce coal consumption.

In 2013, only three cities - Haikou on the island province of Hainan, Lhasa in Tibet autonomous region and the coastal resort city of Zhoushan - met the standards.

They were joined in 2014 by Shenzhen, Huizhou and Zhuhai in southern Guangdong province, Fuzhou in neighbouring Fujian and Kunming in the southwest.

Beijing is not among the 10 Chinese cities with the worst air quality nor among the 10 Chinese cities with the best air quality.

Of the 10 worst-performing cities in 2014, seven were located in the heavy industrial province of Hebei, which surrounds the capital, Beijing, the ministry said. The cities of Baoding, Xingtai, Shijiazhuang, Tangshan, Handan and Hengshui, all in Hebei, filled the top six places.

The ministry said the average PM2.5 reading in the Beijing-Hebei-Tianjin region stood at 93 micrograms per cubic metre last year. The state standard is 35 micrograms but China does not expect to bring the national average down to that level before 2030.

The government has identified Hebei as a top priority when it comes to cutting smog, and it has set targets to slash coal consumption and close polluting industrial capacity, but the province has struggled to find alternative sources of growth.

10 cities with best air quality 

1       Haikou, capital city of South China's Hainan province

2       Zhoushan, East China's Zhejiang province

3       Lhasa, capital city of Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region

4       Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province

5       Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong province

6       Huizhou, South China's Guangdong province

7       Fuzhou, capital city of East China's Fujian province

8       Xiamen, East China's Fujian province

9       Kunming, capital city of Southwest China's Yunnan province

10     Zhongshan, South China's Guangdong province

10 cities with worst air quality 

1      Baoding, North China's Hebei province

2      Xingtai, North China's Hebei province

3      Shijiazhuang, North China's Hebei province

4      Tangshan, North China's Hebei province

5      Handan, North China's Hebei province

6      Hengshui, North China's Hebei province

7      Jinan, East China's Shandong province

8      Langfang, North China's Hebei province

9      Zhengzhou, North China's Henan province

10    Tianjin

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