Shangai, China is catching up to Beijing's high pollution levels. At 4am, pollution levels in Shanghai were reported at 200 and rose to 255 by 8pm. The levels, being just under the 300 level of being considered severely polluted, are a cause for concern for the government. The central government has decided to fund 5 million yuan to work with the industrial factories of Beijing and surrounding areas to lower pollution levels. Last month, the government reported that it would limit traffic and shut down factories if PM2.5 levels exceeded 300.
Citizens of Shanghai are shocked that their pollution levels are as high as Beijing's and have taken to posting pictures on social media websites of the smoggy, gray sky that hovers over the city. Education authorities have alerted schools to limit outdoor activities for children. This is concerning for parents when children must commute to and from school. Studies of poor air quality have concluded that up to five years of person's life is lost due to poor pollution levels. The citizens of Shanghai don't want to live among such high air pollution levels that can cause multiple health problems. The WHO states that a concentration of PM2.5 particles that exceeds level 25 is unsafe. For 24 hours straight, the PM2.5 levels in Shanghai were 200 micrograms per cubic meter. The government's plan to limit traffic and shut down factories if that number exceeds 300 is trivial if the concentration levels are already 8 times the limit. With China's many factories and big cities, the government would need to focus on cleaner energy sources and invest in limiting carbon emissions. The government has plans on China's mainland to limit carbon emissions by forming a national carbon trading market. The air pollution levels in Shanghai should be more under control and the government funded plan to tackle it could work, but the problem should not have reached this level before officials put forth 5 million yuan to do so.