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An App To Expose Polluting Companies In China

Update Date: Jun 11, 2014 07:39 AM EDT

A Chinese environmental group launched a smartphone app that reportedly tracks and exposes polluting companies. The app can monitor intensities of air pollution allowing the "naming and shaming" of the factories or power plants producing it.

The app can produce hourly emission updates providing map locations for the polluting offenders. These reports are based on the reports made to local environmental authorities by plant workers. 

The factory that exceeds emission limits is depicted by red dot on the map, allowing users to identify polluting plants and factories in their regions. 

At present the app covers around 190 cities. According to the reports, around 370 factories may be violating emissions standards set by Environment Ministry of China.

Its aim is to make available data on air quality user-friendly, said Gu Beibei, senior manager of the institute's app project, according to Washington Post.

"If the air quality is bad you can switch (to the factory map) and see who is in your neighborhood," she said. "It will be a very effective tool for people to voice out their concerns."

She added that the data is more credible when it is disclosed to public. 

"When subject to public scrutiny, unreasonable and illogical data can be identified by environmental groups or experts with certain professional knowledge and skills," she added.

The launch of the app comes just a month after the Chinese government changed its environmental protection laws to give activist groups more power to identify companies whose emissions exceed newly established limits.

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