525ee090-9e87-11e3-9e9c-9bb39f5fb59f_2014-02-25T095703Z_26299144_GM1EA2P1DSM01_RTRMADP_3_CHINA-POLLUTIONChina continues to sing the environmental blues, with air pollution levels in the capital city of Beijing now so high that they exceed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended safety level by nearly eight-fold. Bloomberg reports that recent air samples taken by Beijing’s Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center reveal levels of fine particulate matter, PM2.5, hovering just under 200 micrograms per cubic meter (mcg/m3), or about 800 percent higher than the WHO limit of 25 mcg/m3. The most threatening form of particulate matter, PM2.5, is the designation given to very fine particles that measure smaller than 2.5 mcg in diameter. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists PM2.5 as the most harmful type of particulate pollution for humans, because it is easily inhaled and, due to its small size, capable of lodging and accumulating deep within the lungs and respiratory system. More