DAZHOU, China, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- As parts of China choke under dangerous levels of smog, an environmental official in the southwest China city of Dazhou said he has pinpointed the cause: smoked bacon.
Rao Bing, deputy head of the Dazhou Environment Protection Bureau, said smoking, the traditional method used to preserve pork, was releasing dangerous toxins into the air. As local residents prepare for the Chinese New Year with traditional foods that include sausage and bacon, the smog in the area has increased.
Since early January, a blanket of smog has been hanging over parts of China, including Beijing. Officials said its the worst bout of smog since January 2013.
Many blame local construction, including oil refineries, steel mills and power plants, as well as automobile exhaust as the cause. In Dazhou, which is about 1,000 miles from Beijing, local law enforcement has been raiding and demolishing meat-smoking sites in their efforts to decrease air pollution.