High pollution levels in China's urban areas are a significant problem with potentially serious health consequences for the people who live in them. But in an effort to address the problem China is considering a ban on outdoor grilling, because when the Air Quality Index hits 500, it's clearly the fault of the guy with the hibachi.
According to Shanghaiist, the Ministry of Environmental Protection released a draft of guidelines for air pollution control that blamed "barbecue-related activities" for part of the air pollution problem. The ministry is advising large cities to enact a ban on outdoor grilling to cut back on the number of pollutants in the atmosphere, but if the ban were enforced it would have a terrible effect on China's street food.
Chuanr, seasoned skewers of meat or vegetables, are one of China's most popular street foods, but the charcoal or flattop grills on which they're cooked do contribute to pollution. Most of the pollution in Chinese cities has been traced to vehicle and factory admissions, however, not the corner street vendors.
The suggested barbecue ban follows a suggested ban on fireworks, as the ministry attempts to find ways to cut back on airborne pollutants without inconveniencing motorists or factories.