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Shanghai smog level reaches highest mark since January

By Karen Graham     Dec 15, 2015 in Environment
Shanghai - The smog in Shanghai has hit its highest level since January of this year, prompting authorities to ban outdoor activities for school children and curtailing work at construction sites and factories.
Just last week, levels of pollution in Beijing triggered the city's first ever "red alert," resulting in vehicles being ordered off the roads, schools closing and heavy vehicles banned.
By Tuesday, just one day before the city hosts a World Internet Conference, which will include a speech by President Xi Jinping, Shanghai, China's business capital was enveloped in a grey shroud of pollution. Attendees are expected to include tech industry leaders as well as the leaders of a number of nations, such as Russia and Pakistan, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
The limited visibility has driven Shangai's air quality index (AQI) over 300, a level considered dangerous on most scales and capable of causing long-term health risks. The smog has already caused the cancellation of over 100 flights and caused a 26 percent increase in admissions at the city's largest children's hospital.
The U.S. Department of State is reporting that the PM 2.5 (dangerous tiny pollutants) level hit 281. The U.S. government considers a PM 2.5 level of over 200 as being "very unhealthy." PM 2.5 particles are a major cause of respiratory illnesses, including asthma, according to experts.
ABC News-Australia quoted one Shanghai mother: "Because of [the smog] my kid often gets sick, often has a stuffy nose and a cough," said Valen Wang, 40, a full-time mother in Shanghai. At the moment, the pollution feels like it just keeps on getting worse, and all we can do is slow it down a little."
More about Shanghai, Smog pollution, highest levels since january, Beijing, pm25 levels
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