Thick Fog and Haze Shrouding Central and Northern China38.0N 114.4E
Thick fog and haze shrouded central and northern parts of China in early January. Hebei and Henan provinces (visible here west and southwest of the Bohai Gulf, respectively) were listed among the most polluted areas, monitoring data showed. An air quality report from the Ministry of Environmental Protection ranked Handan, Baoding and Shijiazhuang in Hebei and Zhengzhou in Henan as the top four most-polluted cities among 120 monitored nationwide.
Around the time this image was captured, the Air Pollution Index in the four cities reached 500, the maximum on the index. An API reading below 50 indicates excellent air quality, 50 to 100 indicates healthy air, and readings above 100 mean polluted air. Experts and residents in the worst-hit areas are becoming increasingly worried about the air pollution brought by frequent winter haze. Greenpeace warned that wsall particles in the air can cause heart disease, stroke, respiratory illness, birth defects and cancer.