After a long and sometimes chaotic winter, the recent heatwave has been much celebrated around the city. Outdoor dining is back, the windows are open, and the locals are sporting this season’s hottest pajama fashion. But with all the good weather there’s a silver lining or, perhaps more accurately, a poisonous death haze. This is that magical time of year where all the tiny particles in the air heat up and you start feeling like you’re living in a toaster over. If you can’t see across the street, you probably won’t enjoy walking there.
But help is on the way, or so says Xinhua News Agency, in the form of new government policies aimed at reducing particulate air pollution in Shanghai.
“The government is aware of the particulate air problems on streets and will do its best to improve the situation,” Chen Rujun, an official of the pollution control department of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau, said yesterday.
He said the government would require construction project managers to surround most of the city’s road-involved construction sites with fences at least two meters high.
Which should make breathing much easier (assuming that air cannot travel over walls).
Other measures include stricter regulations regarding dust and cleanliness at construction sites and a watchdog team to hunt down the worst offenders. Punishment will be meted out in the form of public embarrassment through the media. Now there’s a law with some teeth. The article also mentions that the city will start encouraging the sorting of trash which will become part of training for ayis.
Only time will tell how effective these measures will be, but we commend their efforts as a step in the right direction.
Click here for more information about particulate pollution and the ways it is slowly killing you.