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Xingtai, one of China’s oldest cities, is also one of its most polluted. The thickly smogged city, with air so polluted it tastes of petrol, has a population of around seven million struggling people. The industrial Chinese city’s pollution is very evident in its soil and bodies of water.
Compared to the rest of the world, the World Health Organization recently ranked Xingtai as the eighth city with the worst air pollution.
Recent measures by the government have tried to curb the pollution by shutting down toxic mills, factories and smelters and enforcing stricter regulations — all of which struggle to reverse the damage caused by decades of neglect.
American cities would probably look similar if the country had not passed the Clean Air Act about 40 years ago. To illustrate how this kind of pollution would look like in the United States, Save on Energy identified potential pollution levels using measurements of fine particles in the air and visibility in Chinese cities and then matched it with populations in U.S. cities.
After determining the amount of pollutants per city, the firm visualized how it would look like by applying the equivalent smog filter to its photos.
San Jose, California
New York City, New York
Los Angeles, California
San Diego, California