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Beijing chokes on toxic air as Chinese govt keeps factories churning

Residents in Beijing wore masks to protect themselves from the toxic air on Monday

China pollution
Representative image

Beijing’s air quality was the worst in 18 months on Monday, a possible result of more flexible emissions curbs for the winter. The economic slowdown may have been behind the decision to move away from the hard targets of last year, with the government trying to keep factories churning, according to some economists. The concentration of PM 2.5 particles -- the most-hazardous, tiny particulate matter -- soared to 328, according to data published by the U.S. Embassy. The measure’s five-day average was 149, compared with 26 last year when the government’s ...