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10,000 homes to get free PM2.5 tests

Free indoor PM2.5 tests are offered to 10,000 Shanghai families as the city collects data of airborne particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in local homes and study the effects of such pollutants as formaldehyde and benzene, officials said today.

People can apply by dialing 51157376, a hotline of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Industry Association, or visiting or

Qian Hua from the Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences said indoor PM2.5 pollutants mainly come from kitchen fumes, cigarette smoking and fabrics.

"Kitchen fumes contain a lot of harmful particles that can enter man's respiratory system," Qian said. "Research shows that those who do the cooking have a higher incidence of lung cancer and nasopharynx cancer."

Experts said indoor PM2.5 is also closely related with outdoor PM2.5 density. "Don't open the window when there is haze outside," he said

PM2.5 can affect air quality and visibility and pose major health risks as the tiny particles are small enough to lodge deep in the lungs and even enter the bloodstream, causing premature death and chronic diseases.

While Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said it will start releasing air quality data using the PM2.5 gauge in June, experts suggest the bureau announce the data at different hours of a day to help local residents take effective measures.


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