This scary map has been making the rounds on the China blogs today. Produced by Canadian researchers Aaron van Donkelaar and Randall Martin at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, it shows the distribution of fine particulate matter (otherwise known was pollution–but also including dust) across the globe.
As you can see, most of China, but north China in particular is a hot zone.
I don't normally make political or editorial comment here, but I will break my rule this once. This graphic is why, the next time you see a Tom Friedman piece about China, it would be best if you put down the paper and walk away.