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American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- July 23, 2008
Date:7/28/2008

e Olympic games starting in Beijing next month. There's growing concern that the city's high air pollution levels may threaten their health and impair their performance, despite the Chinese government's pledge to clean-up the air in time for the events, according to an article scheduled for the July 28 issue of Chemical & Engineering News.

In a feature article in the magazine, C&EN Associate Editor Rachel Petkewich points out that Beijing's air pollution levels have been high for the past five years, exceeding China's standards for other major cities and stricter U.S. pollution standards. The air pollutants of most concern are ozone and particulate matter, which can cause respiratory problems. Some athletes have even threatened to arrive at the last possible minute before their own competitions and skipping the opening ceremonies, for example to minimize their exposure, the article notes.

But there's been some progress toward reducing air pollution levels in Beijing, including switching many of the city's coal-fired power plants to cleaner burning, natural gas facilities as well as stricter vehicle emissions controls. But these strides are being undercut by China's booming economy and increased construction, which have sparked pollution increases. Beijing's air pollution forecast during the Olympics and in the long-run remains uncertain, the article suggests.

ARTICLE #5 EMBARGOED FOR 9 A.M., EASTERN TIME, July 28, 2008
"Olympic Air Quality Questionable"

This story will be available on July 28 at
http://pubs.acs.org/cen/science/86/8630sci3.html

FOR ADVANCE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Michael Bernstein
ACS News Service
Phone: 202-872-6042
Fax: 202-872-4370
Email: m_bernstein@acs.org


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ACS's 236th National Meeting,
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Contact: Mike Woods
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American Chemical Society
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