Shanghai smothered by smog as air heavily polluted

2013-11-15 06:43:21 GMT2013-11-15 14:43:21(Beijing Time)

Shanghai's air quality worsened to a "heavily polluted" level this noon as the density of fine PM2.5 particles climbed to 228 micrograms per cubic meter at 1pm, three times the national limit of 75.

People are advised to reduce their time outdoors.

The city's average air quality index (AQI) reached 213 by 1pm today, according to the local environment watchdog.

Fine particles pose a health concern because they can be inhaled into and accumulate in the respiratory system. Particles of less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter are referred to as "fine" particles and are believed to pose the greatest health risks. Because of their small size (approximately 1/30th the average width of a human hair), fine particles can lodge deeply into the lungs.

Warmer and less humid weather is expected today, with the high increasing slightly to 18 degrees Celsius. Tomorrow's high will reach 20 degrees.

Accompanied by gusty winds, the arrival of cold air from northern China on Sunday is expected to see temperatures drop below 10 degrees.

The cold front will push the overnight lows down to 7 degrees Celsius early Monday morning.

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