The Contrarian

“In the investment markets, what everyone knows is usually not worth knowing.”

Dangerous Air

Extremely high levels of ozone were detected in the air over the past several days during the day in Beijing. This then changes at night when “cancer causing particulates” emerge. Is that why Chinese population growth has stalled.

Here is the article from CAIXIN news in China:

Beijing Holds Its Breath as Ozone Levels Surge
(Beijing) — Beijing and parts of neighboring Hebei province and Tianjin were blanketed by smog infused with high levels of ozone late Thursday and Friday amid a heat wave sweeping across parts of northern China.

The concentration of ground level ozone peaked at 141 micrograms per cubic meter of air at 2 p.m. on Friday, but it had dropped to 102 micrograms per cubic meter of air by 7 p.m, data from the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau showed. The bureau forecasted that after 8 p.m. fine cancer-causing particulates such as PM 2.5 will replace ozone as the main pollutant.

The bad air spell, however, will continue until Saturday when windspeeds are expected to pick up, according to the forecast.

Ozone is an unstable blue gas whose molecules comprise three oxygen atoms instead of the two in molecular oxygen. Ozone can cause asthma and chronic respiratory illnesses and exacerbate other breathing problems, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Low-altitude ozone is produced through a chemical reaction between nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, the WHO said. Ozone can also damage crops and is a major source of greenhouse gases.

When the concentration of ozone rises to 200 micrograms per cubic meter of air, it can cause headaches, irritate the throat and create a burning sensation in the eyes, the WHO said.

Much of northern China has been hit by a heat wave since Tuesday, with maximum temperatures around 35 degrees Celsius for four days in a row, while the wind was too weak to blow away the pollutants.

OUR VIEW: pollution is one of the big problems of China. That should be a fertile ground for pollution-control companies.

The heat wave could be related to the pollution as it traps the infrared.