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City warns light pollution as air quality drops

Shanghai breathed foul air again today as the temperature plunged, local environment monitors said.

The PM2.5 reading, a gauge of airborne pollutants smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter began to rise yesterday afternoon and peaked over 160 micrograms per cubic meter this morning, more than double of the national standard of 75 micrograms, the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center said.

Due to the high density of airborne pollutants, Shanghai's air quality is rated lightly polluted today, the center said.

The average PM2.5 reading in downtown area dropped below 50 micrograms per cubic meter by 3pm today and it is expected to fall further tomorrow. The center forecasted that tomorrow's air quality will be fair.

Shanghai hospitals reported a 30 percent increase in respiratory symptons last week due to the cold weather and air pollution.

The city's temperatures are between 11-17 degrees Celsius today and the chilly weather will stay tomorrow, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

Tomorrow will turn cloudy and drizzles are expected on Saturday, the forecasters said.


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