Shanghai officially changed the city's air pollution alert system and lowered the Air Quality Index (AQI) level necessary to trigger an alert for smog, Shine reports. The announcement was made by the environment authority on Monday.
The changes may cause pollution alerts to be set off easier and more often, but that does not necessarily mean that the air pollution is getting worse.
Under the new system, there are still four different colors that activate different alarms:
The lowest is the blue alert which is issued when light pollution (AQI between 101 and 150) is followed by short-term heavy pollution (AQI over 200) within 24 hours. The blue alert used to be issued when the AQI was between 151-200 and short-term heavy pollution was predicted in Shanghai within 24 hours. This change to the alert system will likely cause more frequent pollution alerts in the city.
The next alarm is the yellow alarm which is set to go off when the AQI is between 201 and 300 for 24 hours. An orange alert will be issued if the AQI is between 301 and 400 for 24 hours. It can also be triggered if the AQI lingers between 201-300 for 48 hours.
The red alert is the highest, most serious alarm and will be issued when the AQI is expected to surpass 400.
It is no secret that the air quality in China is poor. Although the air pollution is exponentially worse in Beijing, there have been many concerns of the growing pollution in Shanghai and the many health risks it can cause.
[Images via Shine and Flickr]