Peak Smog: Shanghai Orders Cars Off Roads As Pollution Literally Off The Charts

“It’s horrible out there,” notes one resident as an orange-level haze alert, the second highest, remained in effect broadly across China and, as Bloomberg reports, the heavy fog shrouding Shanghai caused widespread flight cancellations and sent the air quality index surging past 500 to the “beyond index” category. “The pollution is worse today and the fog is getting heavier,” another noted, and despite the WHO concerns that outdoor air pollution can cause lung cancer, he is "not prohibiting my kids from going outside because we have to learn to grow up in all kinds of environment. But they are definitely wearing face masks.” The government has ordered 30% of government-used vehicles off the road and industrial companies to reduce or halt production.


 



 


Via Bloomberg,








A heavy fog shrouding Shanghai caused widespread flight cancellations and sent an air quality index monitored by the U.S. consulate in the city surging past 500 to the “beyond index” category. Hong Kong’s air pollution index reached “very high” levels at three roadside monitors, according to its Environment Protection Department.


 


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Shanghai took emergency steps against pollution, ordering 30 percent of government-used vehicles off the road and industrial companies to reduce or halt production, the city said on its microblog.


 


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“Under the new index, we are not only reflecting the concentration levels of the key air pollutants but also the health risks associated with those pollutants.”


 


Levels of PM2.5 -- particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter that pose the biggest health risk -- were 602.2 micrograms per cubic meter in Shanghai, more than 24 times WHO’s recommended levels, the city’s monitoring center data showed.


 


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At least half of the students at the Origin Education Children’s House, a private kindergarten in Shanghai, didn’t show up today, said Qian Ying, a teacher at the school. The kindergarten also canceled all outdoor activities, Qian said.


 


Masks and air purifiers have mostly sold out,


 


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At least 102 outbound flights and 122 inbound flights were delayed at Shanghai’s two airports in Pudong and Hongqiao, while 28 outbound flights and 29 inbound were cancelled,


 


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An orange-level haze alert, the second highest, remained in effect, according to China’s meterological authority. Elevated highways were facing heavy congestion with some highway entrances closed and some river traffic halted


 


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“It’s horrible out there,”


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