December 6, 2013

The air pollution in Shanghai is now worse than ever

As shown in the recent PISA report, Shanghai's students may be top-performers, but Shanghai broke another record today. This record may not be as flattering since it's a record in air pollution. There are several ways to measure the air quality index and the Chinese are using AQI with these levels:

AQIAir Pollution
Level
Health Implications
0 - 50ExcellentNo health implications.
51 -100GoodFew hypersensitive individuals should reduce outdoor exercise.
101-150Lightly PollutedSlight irritations may occur, individuals with breathing or heart problems should reduce outdoor exercise.
151-200Moderately PollutedSlight irritations may occur, individuals with breathing or heart problems should reduce outdoor exercise.
201-300Heavily PollutedHealthy people will be noticeably affected. People with breathing or heart problems will experience reduced endurance in activities. These individuals and elders should remain indoors and restrict activities.
300+Severely PollutedHealthy people will experience reduced endurance in activities. There may be strong irritations and symptoms and may trigger other illnesses. Elders and the sick should remain indoors and avoid exercise. Healthy individuals should avoid out door activities.

AQI in Shanghai has today broken through 600. Students have reported how they could see smog fog inside the school corridors. But how is it to live in such an environment? "It doesn't smell horribly bad (not much like smoke) but it has a distinctive flavor, subtly like that you get from chewing aluminum foil. When it's this bad it makes your mouth and throat feel dry as well. Then you feel it hard later in the day when you feel like you desperately need to go to bed about 6 hours earlier than usual." Another one reported he just switched off the air conditioner if the AQI reached above 200. A third had a headache. "I'm coughing, and it's hard to breathe on my way to my office."


Source: Reddit, The Guardian