Via Shanghai Daily: Shanghai pollution figures hit record highs. Excerpt:
Shanghai woke up to another choking day yesterday with the air quality index and PM2.5 density at their worst since official records began about a year ago.
But conditions should start to get better from today, forecasters said.
The city’s PM2.5 density surged past 600 micrograms per cubic meter yesterday afternoon, more than eight times the nation’s limit of 75, making the tiny particles the main pollutant.
Average PM2.5 density peaked at 602.5 micrograms per cubic meter at 1pm, while the highest — 627.6 micrograms — was recorded in Hongkou District. PM2.5 refers to airborne particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. They are the main cause of urban smog and can cause heart and lung problems.
The air quality index surged past 400 yesterday morning into the severely polluted range and stayed there throughout the day. The average climbed to 482 at 6pm, with the highest recording of 500 in Xuhui District.
Density of the larger PM10 particles peaked at 671 micrograms per cubic meter at 1pm, more than four times the nation’s limit of 150 micrograms.
The Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center said a lack of wind and rain made it difficult for the pollutants to disperse and pollutants from the north added to problems which have plagued the city since Monday.
The center forecast severe pollution this morning, with the AQI reaching 350 to 400, and 290 to 350 in the afternoon. But it said the density of pollutants would gradually decline with the arrival of a southeast wind.
Authorities issued a severe pollution alert at 1pm, upgraded from a warning, and launched emergency measures to cut down on emissions.