Xinhua recently reported that Shenyang, the capital city of Liaoning Province in Northeast China, suffered several days of severe air pollution, along with over ten other cities in the region. On November 8, Shenyang’s PM2.5 pollution level went above 1400, which was the highest number on record. [Editor’s note: The World Health Organization defines the safe PM2.5 level as 25 or below. New York’s PM2.5 peak level was 68 on October 5, 2013. Greenpeace reported the highest PMI ever previously recorded as 900 in Beijing on January 13, 2013.]
The City of Shenyang’s air pollution emergency response team set the Emergency Level to the Top Level, when the entire downtown was covered with gray smog. However, hours after the issuance of the emergency alert, no information was available on any of the websites of the government branches that are members of the emergency response team. In the meantime, the Shenyang Bureau of Environment Protection’s official website went offline and the city’s Environment Protection Hotline was not even aware of the Top Level emergency status until late at night. Several hospitals told the media that the respiratory outpatient volume doubled in two days. PM2.5 particles are air pollutants with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less, small enough to invade even the smallest airways.
Source: Xinhua, November 8, 2015