It's nothing new that Beijing is heavily polluted. But now people have woken up to question how all this pollution might easily effect the Olympic athletes next year in Beijing. Not well it would seem.
Spiegel OnLine addresses the issue full-on:
"The Beijing smog feeds on itself. Whenever the city periodically disappears into a brownish-yellow haze, the traffic only gets worse. Those who are fortunate enough to own a car leave their bicycles at home, choosing air-conditioning over the unfiltered cocktail of coal smoke, particulate matter and ozone in the air.
But escaping to the relative comfort of a car's interior won't be an option for those traveling to Beijing in August 2008, when more than 10,000 athletes will compete in the Olympic Games in one of the world's dirtiest cities. China has promised what it calls "Green Games," but its pollution figures suggest the more grayish hue of smog and pollution. "The athletes could be exposed to unhealthy air pollution unless there is a substantial reduction in emissions," warns David Streets of the Argonne National Laboratory in the United States, the principal author of an article on the subject in the professional journal Atmospheric Environment
The air is often thick with pollution in Beijing, a city of 11 million. When there is no rain or wind, ozone and fine dust accumulate, often to a rate that is two or three times the maximum levels recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO)."
The photos in the Spiegel article speak for themselves. So much for the Olympics fostering good health in mind,body and spirit!