Air Pollution in China, and How to Protect Yourself Air pollution in China is not only a concern for expats in Beijing, it should also be a serious concern for expats in Shanghai. In January 2013 the air pollution in shanghai
was the worst in its history. According to the Shanghai Daily, approximately 35 percent of days during the first three months of 2013 were considered slightly or very hazardous to health. This article takes a look at the central government’s first serious steps to tackle air pollution in China in 2013. For a report on more actions that have taken place since 2013 please see our related article China Air Pollution. Airpocalypse Arrives in Shanghai Beijing expats have been experiencing bad air quality for many years, but most Shanghai expats felt relatively secure from this problem, and only in 2012 started hearing terms such as AQI, PM10, PM2.5 on a regular basis. Environmental authorities in Beijing only started issuing PM2.5 measurements in January 2012. This came about due to public pressure after comparisons in social media of China’s official PM10 readings to the real-time PM2.5 readings issued by the American Embassy in Beijing became widespread. The US embassy had started monitoring PM2.5 on its embassy grounds in 2008 and sending the readings out through their official twitter account to staff and American families in Beijing.