The Shanghai Daily reported that PM2.5 concentrations peaked at 390 µg per cubic meter on Thursday—more than five times the nation’s limit of 75, and 15.6 times the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) safety guideline of 25 µg/m3.
Due to the arrival of pollutants from north, the PM2.5 density soared to 300 micrograms by 7am from the 120 micrograms recorded at 4am, and the figure continued to rise throughout the afternoon.
As for the larger PM10, its concentration kept growing overnight and hit about 500 micrograms at 4pm, triple the nation’s 150 microgram limit and 10 times the density considered safe by WHO of 50 micrograms. The city’s average air quality index over 24 hours reached its peak at 6pm with a reading of 287, indicating heavy pollution, while Qingpu District recorded an AQI of 339, or severely polluted.
Separately, the newspaper reported that Zhang Quan, director of Shanghai’s environment protection bureau, told local legislators it would take roughly 10 years for the city and the whole Yangtze River Delta region to solve the air pollution problem.
Vehicle and factory emissions account for 50% of the city’s pollution, followed by dust from construction sites (10.5%), power stations (7.3%) and straw burning (10%). The other 20% is from other provinces.