Perhaps a shift to hot plate technology is in order.
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Beijing cracking down on illegal barbecues
By Zheng Xin
Source – Peoples’ Daily, published May 14, 2013
Beijing is stepping up efforts to reduce illegal barbeques, to cut down on roadside airand noise pollution.
May is the peak time for outdoor grill cooking, which takes a heavy toll on air quality,traffic and residents, said Dang Xuefeng, spokesman for the capital’s bureau of cityadministration and law enforcement.
“As the weather warms up, the streets gradually fill up with roadside barbecue spots,sizzling kebabs on the grill and cold beer, which also create serious air pollution andundesired noise for the neighborhoods,” he said.
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In addition to sanitation concerns, the smoke from outdoor barbeques is high in fineparticulate matter concentration, which poses a severe threat to residents, especiallythose with heart and lung problems, Dang said. Downtown is the most severelyafflicted area, he said, adding that most outdoor barbecues are illegal.
Pan Xiaochuan, a professor at Peking University’s School of Public Health, said thesmoke from barbeques is a very common source of PM2.5, or particulate matter with adiameter smaller than 2.5 micrometers, and poses a serious threat to people’srespiratory systems.
He also suggested that residents are easily irritated by barbeque smoke close to theirwindows.
Operators of illegal barbeques face fines of up to 5,000 yuan ($813) and may havetheir facilities confiscated, authorities said.
The city administration office steps up inspections on illegal roadside barbecues everyMay, and residents can file noise and pollution complaints by dialing 96310.
The city’s environmental protection bureau began regulating illegal outdoor barbequesin 2000, but controlling the problem has been difficult.
“To have some kebabs and cold beer while shooting the breeze with friends in thesummer is a must for us, and nothing can replace it,” said Lu Shuze, a 27-year-oldprimary school sports teacher in Beijing. “This has been a part of my life since college.”
Lu said May is the best time for barbeques because mosquitoes aren’t bad yet and thetemperatures are comfortable.
The city has issued outdoor barbeque permits to several qualified night markets, whichare equipped with environmentally friendly cooking equipment that gives off lesspollution.
Dang did not know how many night markets have received permission to barbequeoutdoors, but he said the requirements are very strict.
The government also warned of the dangers associated with barbecuing in the forestand the city’s parks.
“Beijing is still in the middle of forest fire prevention season, and barbeques can easilyresult in a forest fire,” said Yu Zhanyu, deputy director of the forest public securityoffice of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Landscape and Forestry.
Forest fire prevention season runs from Nov 1 to May 31, but could be extended dueto dry conditions.