China’s environmental organization, Greenpeace, recently released the information on air pollution in major Chinese cities in 2013.

Xingtai was found to be the most polluted Chinese city in 2013, according to the latest information. The top 10 most heavily cities also included Shijiazhuang, Baoding, Handan, Hengshui, Tangshan, Jinan, Langfang, Xi’an and Zhengzhou.

Seven of the cities listed were in Hebei province – a major centre for China's steel industry – with Xingtai listed as the most polluted.

The organization also released the top 10 least polluted Chinese cities in 2013. Haikou, capital of China's southernmost Hainan province, was found to be the cleanest city of China in 2013. Xiamen and Fuzhou ranked 3rd and 5th, respectively, on the list.

The top 10 least polluted Chinese cities are: Haikou, Lhasa, Xiamen, Zhoushan, Fuzhou, Kunming, Huizhou, Zhuhai, Shenzhen and Zhangjiakou.

The Greenpeace report was based on data from China's Environmental Protection Ministry website as well as environmental protection bureaus in the 74 cities.

PM 2.5 refers to airborne particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter that are the cause of urban smog and hazardous to health.

Greenpeace said that the PM 2.5 density in Hebei’s Xingtai and Shijiazhuang had an annual average of 155.2 and 148.5 micrograms per square meter, more than 4 times the national standard. The Yangtze River Delta region has also seen increasingly severe air pollution in recent years. 

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