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Beijing Olympics health fears

17th August 2007

Fears have been raised over health risks faced by athletes and spectators at next year’s Olympic Games in Beijing because of high levels of air pollution in the Chinese capital.


Beijing has vowed to cut the levels of emissions and reduce the pollution but the World Health Organisation (WHO) says it is still concerned about the impact on people visiting the event or athletes competing in the games.

Dr Michal Krzyzanowski from the WHO said: “Exposure to high pollution levels may trigger serious problems. People who do have heart problems, they might wish to reconsider their willingness to travel.?

As China’s booming economy further develops, carbon emissions and pollution is a growing concern. The World Bank says 16 of the planet’s 20 most polluted cities are found in China.

Dr Krzyzanowski said: “All of the cities are pretty highly polluted by European standards, but even by the standards of Asia, Chinese cities are pretty highly polluted.Beijing belongs to the most polluted.?

International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge has warned that events could be postponed if conditions are unhealthy, while some countries say their competitors will arrive in Beijing as late as possible to avoid exposure to pollution.

Some residents in Beijing have begun to wear masks to counter the effects of pollution.

Within the city, Beijing authorities are planning an experimental ban on traffic to help cut in emissions and in total the city will spend £6bn on making environmental improvements, such as relocating factories, improving water treatment centres and updating the transport infrastructure.


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Article Information

Title: Beijing Olympics health fears
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 3788
Date Added: 17th Aug 2007


BBC News

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