China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Friday, November 11, 2005

Beijing stores to display air quality stats

BEIJING, Nov. 10 -- The Sanitation Bureau of Beijing's Haidian District announced on November 6 that, from the next day onward, the area's busiest supermarkets and department stores would display real time information on their indoor air quality during holidays and at weekends, the first initiative of its kind.

Zheng Yang, from the bureau's Sanitation Supervision Institute, said levels of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, formaldehyde and bacteria, as well as temperature and humidity measurements, will be visible at Haidian store entrances.

The scheme, conducted jointly by the bureau and Haidian District Disease Prevention and Control Center, will enable supervisors to identify when standards are not met and advise stores on changes that need to be made.

Modifications could include increased ventilation or controls on numbers of customers entering stores.

The initiative aims both to inform the general public and encourage retailers to ensure they provide healthy environments for their customers.

Supermarkets and department stores have been targeted because they attract large numbers of people during holidays and at weekends, resulting in crowded indoor environments where diseases could spread easily, particularly during winter when respiratory illnesses peak.

The bureau said that at least five stores would be supervised each month

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