pollution

Birds fly as the sun sets through haze in Beijing

Andy Wong/AP

Birds fly as the sun sets through a haze in Beijing

An Afghan refugee girl washes a bed in a polluted stream, in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014.

Muhammed Muheisen/AP

An Afghan refugee girl washes a bed in a polluted stream, in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan

TOPSHOTS This picture taken on June 14, ...TOPSHOTS This picture taken on June 14, 2014 shows a man rising a public bicycle through a bicycle-sharing station in Beijing. Beijing is acutely aware of an increasing number of angry protests over environmental concerns in the country, where three decades of rapid and unfettered industrial expansion have taken a heavy toll. Premier Li Keqiang announced in March that Beijing was "declaring war" against pollution.   CHINA OUT   AFP PHOTOAFP/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty

A man rides a bicycle at a bicycle sharing station in Beijing. China is acutely aware of an increasing number of protests over environmental concerns in the country, where three decades of rapid and unfettered industrial expansion have taken a heavy toll. Premier Li Keqiang announced in March that Beijing was “declaring war” against pollution. 

An octopus-shaped kite flies over visitors on a smoggy day during a kite festival in Chongqing.

China Daily/Reuters

An octopus-shaped kite flies through the smog during a kite festival in Chongqing, southwest China

the Eiffel tower in central Paris through a haze of pollution.

Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images

Eiffel Tower in central Paris through a haze of pollution. More than 30 departments in France have been hit by maximum level pollution alerts since Thursday, prompting the ecology minister to say air quality was “an emergency and a priority for the government”.

Girls wearing masks on haze-covered Tiananmen Square in Beijing.  China's National Meteorological Centre issued a "yellow" smog alert for much of the country's north, the fifth consecutive day of heavy pollution which has slashed visibility and seen pollution reach hazardous levels.

AFP

China’s National Meteorological Centre issued a “yellow” smog alert for much of the country’s north, the fifth consecutive day of heavy pollution that has cut visibility and seen pollution reach hazardous levels, affecting areas such as Tiananmen Square (above) in Beijing.

Residents cover their face from dust as they ride their bicycles along a street on a hazy day in Zhengzhou, Henan province. Commentaries by two of China's most influential news outlets suggesting that an ongoing air pollution crisis was not without a silver lining drew a withering reaction on Tuesday from internet users and other media. The Global Times said smog could be useful in military situations, as it could hinder the use of guided missiles, while CCTV listed five "unforeseen rewards" for smog, including helping Chinese people's sense of humour.

Reuters

Cyclists cover their faces on a hazy day in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China. Two of the country’s most influential news outlets were criticised after trying to put a positive spin on China’s air pollution problem. The Global Times newspaper said smog could be useful in military situations, as it could hinder the use of guided missiles, while state broadcaster CCTV listed five “unforeseen rewards” of smog, including helping Chinese people’s sense of humour.

Young environmentalists from international organizations protest in front of the Polish Ministry of Economy in Warsaw, where the Coal and Climate Summit is taking place. Poland's dependence on the cheap and plentiful coal means it ranks fifth for carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution in the European Union, behind Germany, Britain, Italy and France, whose economies are far larger.

Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images

Young environmentalists protest in front of the Polish economy ministry in Warsaw, where the coal and climate summit is taking place. The country’s dependence on fossil fuel means it ranks fifth for carbon-dioxide pollution in the EU, behind Germany, Britain, Italy and France.

Hazaribagh's Tanneries Contribute To Its Status As One Of World's Most Polluted Places...DHAKA, BANGLADESH - NOVEMBER 11: Men work with animal fat that will be turned into glue, November 11, 2013 in the Hazaribagh neighborhood of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Hazaribagh was just listed in a report by Green Cross Switzerland and Blacksmith Institute as the 5th most polluted place on earth. It houses 95% of Bangladesh's leather tanneries, and every day they dump 22,000 cubic liters of toxic waste, including the cancer-causing hexavalent chromium, into the capital city's main river and key water supply, the Burgiganga. Most of the laborers work with the hazardous chemicals without any safety precautions, and there have been reports of horrific workplace accidents in the factories. Residents of the neighborhood slums are exposed to the extreme air, water and soil pollution. The tanneries export millions of dollars of leather good around the world, including the US and Europe. (Photo by Getty Images)

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Men carry animal fat that will be turned into glue, in the Hazaribagh neighbourhood of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Hazaribagh has been listed in a report by Green Cross Switzerland and Blacksmith Institute as the fifth most polluted place on earth. It houses 95 per cent of Bangladesh’s leather tanneries, which every day dump 22,000 cubic litres of toxic waste, including the cancer-causing hexavalent chromium, into the capital city’s main river and key water supply, the Buriganga. 

A traffic policeman signals to drivers during a smoggy day in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, October 21, 2013. The second day of heavy smog with a PM 2.5 index has forced the closure of schools and highways, exceeding 500 micrograms per cubic meter on Monday morning in downtown Harbin, according to Xinhua News Agency.

China Daily/Reuters

A traffic policeman signals to drivers during a smoggy day in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province. The second day of heavy smog forced the closure of schools and highways on Monday, according to Xinhua News Agency.