Chinese cities choke on smog

Updated 9:12 PM ET, Mon December 7, 2015
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Visitors, some wearing masks to protect themselves from pollutants, share a light moment as they take a selfie at the Jingshan Park on a polluted day in Beijing on December 7, 2015, the day Beijing's city government issued its first red alert for pollution, the highest level of warning. Andy Wong/AP
A woman walks along a path at a park in Beijing on December 7. Smog is blurring the view of the buildings in the background. WANG ZHAO/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
A mask-wearing vendor awaits customers at the Jingshan Park on a polluted day in Beijing on December 7. Andy Wong/AP
Tiananmen Gate stands shrouded with heavy pollution and fog in Beijing on December 1, 2015. Previously under an orange alert, the second-highest warning level, the Chinese capital enters yet another week choked by toxic smog under the newly issued red alert -- due to be in force until noon of December 10 local time. Andy Wong/AP
A Chinese woman protects herself with a mask as she walks past Tiananmen Square in smog-hit Beijing on November 30, 2015. Levels of PM 2.5, considered the most hazardous pollutant, crossed 600 units in Beijing, nearly 25 times the acceptable standard set by the World Health Organization. Kevin Frayer/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Buildings are shrouded by heavily polluted haze in Beijing on November 30. China's capital and neighboring regions have seen the worst smog of the year this week. Andy Wong/AP
Roads and buildings in Baoding, China's most polluted city, are cloaked in thick smog on November 30, where the air quality index (AQI) has reached a 'hazardous' level. Matt Rivers/CNN
A woman protects herself from pollutants with a piece of cloth as she walks past a construction site on November 30 in Beijing. AP Photo/Andy Wong
Residential blocks are cloaked in smog in Lianyungang, in eastern China's Jiangsu province, on November 30. STR/AFP/Getty Images
Vehicles drive along a highway in Beijing with a traffic sign that reads "Slow down, low visibility" on November 30. Andy Wong/AP
A Genghis Khan statue is obscured by a cloak of orange-tinged smog on November 29, 2015 in Hohhot, capital of Inner Mongolia, China. STR/AFP/Getty Images
The pollution cast an apocalyptic glow over the pagodas on the streets of Hohhot, Inner Mongolia on November 29. STR/AFP/Getty Images
People wearing face masks walk across Tiananmen Square in Beijing on November 28. AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein
The top photo taken from CNN's Beijing Bureau, shows the city shrouded in smog on November 27, 2015, and the same view on a blue sky day just the day before. Matt Rivers/CNN