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September 28, 2010

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Home » Metro » Environment

Cleaner air thanks to World Expo

THE World Expo is giving the city its best air quality since records began thanks to measures taken to improve the environment for the event.

A total of 121 days, or 98.4 percent of the days between May and August, were marked as having excellent or good air quality, the top two grades in a five-level category, the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said yesterday.

The density of major air pollutants including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and small particulate matter, had dropped significantly during the Expo, it said.

Monitoring found sulfur dioxide dropped by 27.6 percent, nitrogen dioxide by 8.9 percent and particulate matter by 13.9 percent over the same period last year.

Officials said controls on hay burning proved one of the most effective measures of improving the air quality. It is one of the major causes of air pollution during the summer harvest in late May and early June and the autumn harvest in late October and early November.

The burning generates pollutants including particulate matter, carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide.

The city reduced the amount of land allowed to grow wheat, educated farmers in the scientific and ecological use of hay and used satellite imagery to police the burning.

There had been no large-scale burning so far this year.

Since adopting the control measures, all days at the peak time for hay burning had good or excellent quality this year with 16 rated excellent.

The bureau said it will extend the controls on hay burning after the Expo ends to maintain the improved environment.


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