Shanghai Endures Worst Pollution Following Northern Sandstorms

Shanghai was hit by the worst pollution on record on Tuesday, as the air in the country’s commercial center filled with dust from northern China, which had endured sandstorms earlier in the month.

The city’s air was classified as “severely polluted,” the worst level of a 6-grade scale, with an air quality index surging to the upper limit of 500 as of midday, according to the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.

The primary pollutant is PM10 -- particles that can be inhaled and which are commonly associated with sand and dust -- the center said. It warned children and the elderly to stay indoors.

Beijing, about 1,000 kilometers to the north of Shanghai, suffered two sandstorms in March, which also sent air pollution readings off the charts. Meteorological authorities blamed Mongolia as the source of the pollutants.

Expected rains may help ease the pollution in Shanghai from Tuesday evening, according to a post on the municipal government’s Wechat platform.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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