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China’s Air Quality Results Won’t Be Released

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC), and Chinese authorities have agreed that they would not publish air-quality data the IOC received during the Summer Games, said Arne Ljungqvist, the IOC's medical commission chairman.

According to the Washington Post, Ljungqvist said Chinese officials did not demand that the information be kept private, but both parties agreed it should be considered "an interior affair for the purpose of rescheduling competitions".

Ljungqvist said, "we will not publish anything during the Beijing Games. We are not authorized to...When I talked already with Beijing authorities we agreed it's not for us to go out and make public air-quality data...In my view, it's a perfectly normal agreement. As a scientist you do not publish data obtained by others...I have a great difficulty understanding all the fuss around this".

He said air quality has been satisfactory since the Games began August 8 and the IOC's medical commission had not recommended postponing events.

The Washington Post reports despite the thick fog covering Beijing for most of the first week of competition few athletes have complained about the conditions and sport officials have described the air quality as good.

The IOC medical commission has received daily reports from Chinese authorities on five measures of pollution - ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and PM10, as well as heat, humidity and wind readings.

Ljingqvist said none of the air-quality data the IOC has received since the start of the Games has failed to meet the World Health Organization's (WHO) "interim" air quality targets designed for developing nations with pollution problems. They are not as stringent as the WHO's air quality guidelines.

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