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November 5, 2012

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Air to be 'slightly polluted' today

THE city's air quality is likely to be slightly polluted today and tomorrow because of possible sand dust from the north and low-force winds, the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center said yesterday.

The center said the air quality yesterday afternoon and night were also close to the "slight pollution" mark.

Air pollution, especially PM2.5 - a gauge of airborne pollutants measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter - was a hot topic during the two-day Pujiang Innovation Forum in Shanghai that ended yesterday.

"The PM2.5 accounts for 60 to 70 percent of fine particles in China. However, the World Health Organization has set a limit of around 50 percent for PM2.5 in developing countries," Hao Jiming, director of the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences said at the forum yesterday morning.

Big particles, measured as PM10, usually come from flying dirt and sand dust while PM2.5 particles are due to burning of petrochemicals, such as from vehicle and industry.

Hao said China has entered a new air pollution phase as PM10 has been dropping thanks to efforts on pollution control but PM2.5 continues to rise due to multiple sources and pollutants, especially from autos. Pointing out that China is the only country in the world with a high density of both ozone and PM2.5, Hao called for increased public awareness about the harm from pollutants.


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