The Shanghai environmental authority announced today that air pollution standards in the city have been adjusted to reduce the number of alerts after the city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) level reached a record high. And also we’re probably all going to become smog people.
According to a report by the China Daily, Shanghai’s Environmental Protection Bureau will now be lifting air pollution alerts when the PM2.5 concentration drops below 115 micrograms per cubic meter—alerts were previously lifted when the concentration of PM2.5 dropped below 75 micrograms per cubic meter.
The change was reportedly a “reluctant tacit acknowledgement of the city’s poor air quality” but the bureau believes the original standard was too strict, as haze often intensifies in the Yangtze River Delta region come winter time.
As of 1:00 this afternoon, the AQI in Shanghai reached 510, a level considered extremely hazardous. At one point within the past two days, the AQI reached an off-the-charts level of 536.
Experts say that the city will “likely will revert to the original standard to lift severe-pollution warnings in summer, when air quality is better,” according to the report.
Now here is an incredibly eerie photo of the Pearl Tower being devoured by smog [via @jruwitch].
Suck it up, baby.