AIR POLLUTION: Forecast to clear up


Shanghai’s air quality is very up and down, but mainly down! School children have recently spent days ‘locked’ in their classroom due to increasingly suffocating air outdoors -it’s ‘not’ so much about education outside the classroom, but rather keeping kids sane indoors….  

Shanghai’s air quality will improve Monday as strong winds continue to disperse the pollution that settled on the city last week, the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center predicted Sunday.


The city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) peaked at 166 at 3 am Sunday, indicating a moderate level of pollution. The main pollutant then was PM 2.5, or particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter, according to the monitoring center.

The AQI subsequently fell as a cold front blew into the city from the north, bringing stronger winds but also sand particles that prevented the air quality from improving very much, said Zhao Qianbiao, a monitor with the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.

By 1 pm, the air quality was considered lightly polluted, with PM 10 accounting for most of the pollution. Besides sand particles, coal soot is the primary source of PM 10, Zhao said. PM 10 doesn’t penetrate the lungs like PM 2.5 does, but it usually irritates the eyes and nasal passages.

PM 10 is harmful when its 24-hour reading surpasses 150 micrograms per cubic meter, according to Zhao. The PM 10 reading peaked around 200 early Sunday morning, according to the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.

Zhao advised children and residents with heart and respiratory illnesses to cut back on outdoor activities and wear masks when they go outdoors.

The wind arrived in the city with Saturday night’s cold front, Zhao said.

The high temperature plunged to 11 C Sunday, down from 29.5 C on Saturday, which was the highest temperature on that date in 100 years, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

The high temperature will range from 10 C to 19 C from Monday to Thursday and the low temperature will range from 5 C to 8 C.

The city will experience rain showers on Tuesday night and into Wednesday, the weather bureau said.



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