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Air-quality forecasts are a breeze on Web

IT'S now possible to check real-time air quality inside the Expo zone hour by hour.

The bilingual Website of Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center, which went online yesterday, also provides daily reports of air quality for the entire city, each district, and major cities in the Yangtze Delta Region. And it gives a seven-day forecast.

The address is

The new program AIRNow-International was developed by the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau, Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center and the US Environmental Protection Agency. It's based on the US's AIRNow system.

It makes Shanghai the first city in China with such high-end air quality notification and forecasting capability.

Air quality both inside the Expo zone and the entire city was excellent yesterday, the highest of five levels that test for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter.

"It is a data exchange, processing and sharing platform useful for decision makers, health organizations and the public," said Zhang Quan, director of Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.

Information from the program is also used for air quality monitoring for the Yangtze Delta Region, Zhang said.

Jeff Clark, associate director of US's EPA said the technology covers the entire nation and benefits millions of people.

"In the US, we have different colors to mark air quality through an hourly report to guide people, especially those with asthma and heart disease, and health organizations can warn patients about bad air quality," he said.

In addition to improving the technology for air-quality reporting and forecasting, US officials urged Shanghai to promote new-energy vehicles and control industry emissions for better air quality and public health.


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