It’s time to stock up masks and inhalers because, no, that’s not fog you’re breathing. According to the China Daily, the air pollution index has passed 100 for eight days so far this month, the worst readings in five years. Another chilling statistic: the API reading on the 13th of November, when the numbers jumped to 370. Considering that the key to reading the API only goes up to Class III, where numbers 200 and above only account for “worse than Class III”, we’re thinking that’s there’s some horrific stuff floating around in the “air”.
For those of you who thought you wouldn’t be missing the benefits of Expo madness, we’re pretty sure you’re going to be in full support of the next event even to hit our dusty city.
“It seems things have returned to what they were before the Expo. I guess it is because many of the compulsory measures to fight air pollution have come to an end,” said local resident Zhao Yi’an.
Shanghai’s air-monitoring centre blamed the air conditions on violent sandstorms in northern China on the 11th of November, pushing the dust towards the south.
Contrary to popular belief, the centre also notes that Shanghai did not close factories during the Expo, meaning air pollution should not have changed. But let’s not forget the restrictions imposed by the government on construction workers in the city to “ease traffic control”, as well as their prohibition of burning straw for farmers in the countryside.
The Global Times also suggests another reason for this sudden onslaught of dustiness:
“The city’s westerly and southwesterly winds in winter also bring the pollution from the surrounding provinces to the city,” Fu added.
Hmm, we think not. Hopefully The Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau will have more tricks up its sleeve for post-Expo pollution, levies on idling motorcycles sporting screaming men in front of all the metro stations might be a start. Till then, do what you can do from the comfort of your home!