Shanghai, notorious for high levels of air pollution, reached exceedingly high levels of pollution on Friday.
Shrouded in a yellow fog, the city's pollution reached levels which threatened residents' health. The government site which measures PM2.5, a particularly harmful air pollutant, gave a PM2.5 rating of 477 yesterday. It has since decreased to 192.
The polluted air in Shanghai poses a major health threat to residents. A safe PM2.5 rating is anywhere in the range of 0-50. While a measurement of 51-100 PM2.5 could cause moderate reactions from sensitive individuals.
According to the government site, at 192 PM2.5, “Air pollution may increase aggravation of symptoms in people of sensitive groups; everyone may begin to experience health effects of cardiopulmonary system.” The site advises, “The following groups should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion: people with heart or lung disease, children and older adults. Everyone else should limit prolonged or heavy exertion.”
Air pollution with a PM2.5 measurement of above 300 is considered “extremely polluted.” The government site describes this level of pollution saying, “Air pollution triggers health warnings of emergency conditions. The general population appears severe symptoms with obviously reduction of exercise tolerance, and is even more likely to have cardiopulmonary diseases ahead of time.”
School children were ordered to stay indoors and construction in Shanghai was halted on Friday due to the extreme levels of pollution. The government banned fireworks and public sporting events. 30 percent of government vehicles were taken off the roads.