Shanghai will add more fine particle monitoring stations in downtown areas to gather accurate PM2.5 readings, officials from the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said yesterday.
Changing the controversial Dianshanhu spot in Qingpu District is also on this year's agenda, officials said.
The Dianshuanhu spot will still be used for PM2.5 monitoring and research, however it won't be used as a benchmark for air quality readings since it is likely polluted by the nearby environment, officials said.
Shanghai has selected 10 PM2.5 monitoring spots. They have been set up in line with a national standard and supervised by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
Only readings from these spots are included in the city's overall PM2.5 calculation and air quality evaluation system, officials said. The average figure from these 10 locations will be included in the city's overall air quality evaluation system at the end of this year.
Shanghai started to release hourly and daily PM2.5 readings from these spots on a trial basis in late June. The readings from Dianshanhu were always the highest, leading to questions from the public.
PM2.5, particles measuring 2.5 microns or less in diameter, can affect air quality and visibility. The particles can also be inhaled and become lodged in the lungs.
"Dianshanhu will still be used as a clean benchmark before a new location is approved by the ministry," said Liu Dailin from the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau. "We will look into the Dianshanhu data from the previous decades along with any changes in its surrounding environment."