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Panasonic announced pollution compensation for China workers

Mar 13, 2014 16:30 IST

Japanese electronics firm Panasonic announced on 12 March 2014 to pay its employees a pollution premium to workers who are working in China. The move was announced as part of Panasonic's pay negotiations.

Panasonic became the first firm to explicitly pay more due to China's air quality problems. Unrelenting smog has become a focus for public discontent particularly in prosperous urban areas such as Beijing. Urban areas of China are experiencing the worst level on China’s air quality index.

imageThe readings of pollution particulates in Beijing soared to 15 times the daily maximum recommended by the World Health Organisation.

Issue

The issue gained attention in 2008 when the US embassy installed a pollution monitoring system on its roof in Beijing to detect the level of PM2.5.  An official analysis revealed that out of 74 Chinese cities only three met national air quality standards.

Particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrograms or less can enter the human blood stream through a person’s lungs and contribute to asthma, cancer or heart trouble.

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