Beijing Air Improves, Olympic Village Earns LEED Gold

BEIJING, China, August 13, 2008 - Beijing's air quality has improved, with the sky clearly visible today after rains on Sunday and Monday reduced the air pollution, heat and mugginess that made Olympic athletes, visitors and residents uncomfortable for days.

Weather officials measured an Air Pollution Index of 32 on Tuesday, far below the benchmark API 100 set by the Chinese authorities. An Air Pollution Index of 50 and below is considered excellent by the World Health Organization.

The United Nations Environment Programme's Beijing team sees this as an indication that measures like the ones taken by the Chinese authorities can have an impact on polluted air.

Some of the air pollution reduction measures that have been adopted by the Chinese authorities for the Olympic Games include the closing down of heavy polluting factories around the city and beyond, a reduction in car traffic around the city by about half, and free use of public transport for people holding tickets to Olympic event or Olympic accreditation.

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600450 Beijing Air Improves, Olympic Village Earns LEED Gold

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