Shanghai’s air quality index exceeded 200 yesterday, qualifying it as “heavily polluted”, and as the Ministry of Environmental Protection has pushed for several Chinese cities to close schools and cut work hours due to heavy pollution, some residents are worried that Shanghai may be the next city to suffer the wrath of Airpocalypse.
South China Morning Post reports:
The average concentration of PM2.5, tiny particulates that pose the biggest threat to health, stood at about 200 micrograms per cubic metre over a 24-hour period – a reading that is eight times what the World Health Organisation deems safe.
People remarked online they were shocked Shanghai was “catching up” with Beijing, which has suffered from heavy air pollution for years.
“First it was our much pricier number plates, now Shanghai is again beating Beijing,” one resident wrote on Sina’s Weibo, referring to the financial hub’s pricey vehicle registrations.
Yesterday, the US consulate in Shanghai reported the PM2.5 as reaching 139 at 5 pm with an air-quality level considered “unhealthy”. Around the same time, Beijing’s PM2.5 level was around 51.
Earlier this week, it was reported that an eight-year-old girl in Jiangsu province was recently diagnosed as the youngest lung-cancer patient ever due in part to heavy smog and PM2.5.
Beijing and other cities are attempting to cut down on the pollution which is reportedly shortening the lifespan of northern residents by approximately 5.5 years, but until then, it looks like we’ll all have to invest in some of these “fashionable” furry face masks to avoid the pollution.