Thick Blanket of Smog Covers Beijing

A shroud of thick smog has struck Beijing and areas of eastern China for the second time in 14 days, causing flights in and out of the region to be cancelled and causing government officials to take vehicles off the roads and temporarily close factories.

The white and hazy air has proven to be so caustic that residents are wearing face masks if and when they have to venture out of doors. The record thick smog comes at the worst time of year for China since it is one of the busiest travel seasons for celebrating Chinese New Year which begins on February 10.

The current level of smog is 20 times above the safe levels established by the World Health Organization and officials say that smog particles are dense enough to cause lung damage when breathed in.

More than 100 factories in and around Beijing cause daily heavy pollution contributing to the worse than usual air quality.