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ben boyd

Travelled to 10 countries / regions

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Living in Hong Kong, travel to Shanghai often

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Asia > China > Shanghai > Useful Info
Submitted on Dec 02, 2018 Useful Info

Tips for dealing with air pollution in Shanghai

Having visited Shanghai numerous times since moving to HK, it's pretty obvious that the air pollution has gotten a lot better in recent years (the worst was in the early 2010s). That being said, it definitely still is an issue in certain times and here's my tips for how to deal with it:

  1. Visit in the summer and fall: June-October are the least polluted months in Shanghai, and you are more likely to have blue skies than not. Conversely, air pollution gets a lot worse in the winter and spring and you're more likely to get smoggy days where you can't see more than a few miles out. I made this Shanghai air pollution chart from US Consulate's hourly PM2.5 reading data (http://www.stateair.net/web/historical/1/4.html). Anything below 50 on this chart is considered very good by world standardsUser submitted photo of Shanghai
  2. Get an air quality tracking app on your phone: there are a lot of free apps for both Android and iOS that shows you real time air quality index for any major city in China. The one I use that's been recommended to me is Air Matters, which expats in China use. You should consider staying indoors on particularly bad days (there's no shortage of malls in Shanghai to keep you entertained)
  3. Bring multivitamins with you: some studies have shown that vitamin Bs help reduce some of the longer-term damaging effects of air pollution. I take vitamin supplements already so it wasn't anything extra I had to do
  4. Get a mask: personally I don't wear masks and most tourists and expats don't wear them (although many local Chinese seems to wear them). But if you're particularly sensitive or have respiratory issues, wearing masks is probably the right call. For China, get a mask that's rated N99 or N100. Also get your mask before coming to China - counterfeit masks is always a risk here