(Reuters) Severe pollution in Beijing has made the Chinese capital “barely suitable” for living, according to an official Chinese report, as the world’s second-largest economy tries to reduce often hazardous levels of smog caused by decades of rapid growth.

Pollution is a rising concern for China’s stability-obsessed leaders, keen to douse potential unrest as affluent city dwellers turn against a growth-at-all-costs economic model that has tainted much of the country’s air, water and soil.

The report, by the Beijing-based Social Science Academic Press and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, ranked the Chinese capital second worst out of 40 global cities for its environmental conditions, official media reported on Thursday.

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