IOC, BBC Spar Over Beijing Air

But pollution readings by BBC tell a different story
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2008 1:50 PM CDT
In this image reviewed by the Chinese military, a power station is seen through haze in Beijing Saturday Aug. 2, 2008.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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(Newser) – The International Olympic Committee says there is nothing wrong with the air in Beijing and praised China's "extraordinary" efforts to clean up pollution ahead of the Games' kick-off tomorrow. But the BBC disagrees, reporting its own analysis that shows Beijing's air pollution at nearly four times World Health Organization standards.

The BBC reading reveals 191 micrograms of particulate matter per cubic meter in Beijing's air—far dirtier than the WHO's guideline of 50 micrograms per cubic meter, and more than the 150-microgram standard for developing nations. But the IOC counters that China did "everything that is feasible and humanly possible," and claims that critics are confusing fog and pollution.