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May 9, 2012

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Home » Metro » Environment

City poised to release PM2.5 data

SHANGHAI is ready to release readings of fine particle pollution, or PM2.5, in June, and stricter management of vehicle exhaust and measures to control flying dirt from construction sites and can also be expected, Shanghai environmental officials said yesterday.

Shanghai has been putting monitoring equipment in more sites to add to the previous 24 local spots to monitor PM2.5, which is fine particulate matter 2.5 microns or less in diameter. The new sites are "national spots" set up for the central government. All readings will be averaged into a single citywide figure this month, said Zhang Quan, director of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.

So far, Shanghai has been releasing 24-hour real-time PM2.5 combined measurements from just one spot in Putuo District and one spot in Zhangjiang, Pudong New Area since March as a trial.

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 enter the bloodstream, causing premature death and chronic diseases.

Environmental officials say that vehicles, ships and industrial production contribute half of local PM2.5 discharge, roads and construction 10 percent, power stations 10 percent and agriculture and other civilian sectors 10 percent.

The remaining 20 percent originates in other areas in the Yangtze River Delta Region, requiring coordinated control efforts.

"To control construction dirt, monitors will be installed at construction sites to monitor and regulate staff's performance to prevent and control flying dirt," Zhang said. "Cooperation with the local meteorological bureau will also be tightened to better arrange the road washing timing and frequency."

Since vehicle discharge is responsible for 50 to 60 percent of air pollution in downtown areas, Shanghai will gradually eliminate 230,000 highly polluting vehicles running on local roads and adopt a stricter national V emission standard, equivalent to European V, on new cars in next year as well as cleaner fuel, Zhang said.


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