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City to release PM2.5 data next month

Shanghai municipality will be ready to release readings of fine particle pollution, or PM2.5, in June, and coordinated air quality control in the Yangtze River Delta can also be expected, Shanghai environmental officials said today.

Shanghai has been building stations to monitor PM2.5, namely fine particulate matter 2.5 microns or less in diameter, since early 2012 and has conducted trials on the monitoring stations since May, said Zhang Quan, head of the Shanghai Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau.

Therefore, the conditions for releasing the PM2.5 data will be ready in June. The remaining task is to train relevant personnel to conduct the monitoring, Zhang said.

Accurate PM2.5 monitoring has a high technical requirement, and factors such as temperature and humidity should be ruled out in order to obtain accurate readings, Zhang said.

Moreover, there are various sources of PM2.5 in the metropolis. According to current monitoring results, vehicles and ships contribute 25 percent to the total particulate matter, industrial production 25 percent, roads and construction 10 percent, power stations 10 percent and agriculture and other civilian sectors 10 percent, Zhang said.

Another 20 percent of PM2.5 originates in other areas in the Yangtze River Delta, requiring coordinated control efforts. Efforts are being made to release PM2.5 readings together with other cities in the delta in a bid to improve air quality in the delta region as a whole, Zhang said.

The Yangtze River Delta, covering 50,000 square km, consists of Shanghai, southeastern Jiangsu Province and northeastern Zhejiang Province. It is also known as the Golden Triangle of the Yangtze for its advanced economic development level in China.

Beijing began to release hourly PM2.5 readings in January. The PM2.5 gauge is considered stricter than the previous PM10 standard, which monitors larger particulate matter.


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