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A woman uses a scarf to cover her for protection against air pollution walks on street in Beijing as the capital of China is shrouded by heavy smog on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016. Thick, gray smog fell over Beijing on Tuesday, choking China's capital in a haze that spurred authorities to cancel flights and close some highways in emergency measures to cut down on air pollution. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Shocking photos show middle school students in China forced to take exams in toxic fog

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A school principal was suspended after students were made to sit in dense, toxic smog.

Worst 'red alert' day of the year

Schools in Linzhou, a city in northern China, were instructed to close Monday and remain closed until the end of the week due to severe air pollution across the country.

Despite state-wide red alert warnings, one middle school did not close. Instead, the school had more than 400 students show up to complete a full day of exams in the outside playground on the most polluted day of the year, reports the state-run People's Daily.


Here is another photo of students taking exams in the school's playground.

China's smog problem

Red alerts for air pollution have been issued in 24 cities across northeast China as smog reaches dangerous levels.

More than 700 companies in Beijing were forced to shut down on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press, and more than 200 flights out of the capital’s international airport were been cancelled.

Here's footage of what severe smog looks like in parts of China. 

One woman covers her mouth while crossing the street in one photo.

According to Greenpeace East Asia, around 200 million people in China are exposed to smog levels that are at least 10 times higher than considered safe by the World Health Organization (WHO). 

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