Transcript for Beijing Air Pollution Forces 20 Million People Indoors
In beijing, china, the air is so thick with pollution, it looks like night at the height of noon. At the city's famous tiananmen square, the portrait of chairman mao can barely be stand behind a soldier standing guard there. Gloria riviera reports. Reporter: David, major parts of china are engulfed in a toxic fog tonight. The air pollution index here in beijing skyrocketed this weekend, literally going off the charts, at one point reaching 755. That's on a scale where anything over 300 is considered an emergency. By comparison, the scale used in the u.S. Doesn't even go over 500. What's it like? Well, there is an acrid burnt smell in the air, eyes are easily irritated, and it's difficult to see through all the soot and grit. The problem is blamed on china's rapid industrial growth and an explosion in car ownership, all without proper environmental standards. It's an issue the new leadership is being pressured to address and soon. Until the air clears here in beijing, the chinese government is warning the 20 million people in this capital to stay inside.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.