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Air Quality in the UAE vs China

Discussion in 'Personal' started by slowmailfromchina, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. slowmailfromchina

    slowmailfromchina New commenter


    i'm considering a move from abu dhabi to shanghai, i'm rather tired of the dust in AD but worried about the air quality in shanghai, too! anyone with experience of both locations (or close to) i'd appreciate your opinion. just on air quality- where would you live?

    i'd also appreciate some information on the relative impacts on health of the naturally occurring dust that we have in the UAE and the pollution smog they get in shanghai.


  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I've been to Shanghai - it has appalling air quaility at times but it's a fantastic city.

    Air quality in most cities in China isn't very good I'm afraid - it's the traffic amongst other things.
    slowmailfromchina likes this.
  3. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    My SiL was recently in Shanghai. The hotel offered them smog masks before they went out. Visibility was poor.
  4. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Shanghai actually has it's own microclimate - the airport actually closes much earlier than most others because the smog gets so bad in the evening that it's dangerous for incoming and outgoing planes. It's pretty bad early in the morning as well.

    Beijing is bad but not as bad as Shanghai (yet).
  5. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    The UAE has the highest mean average of air pollutants of any other country on the list, including China and India.

    According to the World Bank report, the UAE has an annual mean of 80 PM2.5 micrograms for each cubic metre. This is higher than any other listed country, including China and India, and eight times the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guidelines.

    To those that have visited cities such as New Delhi in India and Beijing in China, the figures seem hard to believe. A blanket of grey hangs above those cities and the toxic contents of the air are almost palpable.

    China’s reading, which excludes Hong Kong and Macau, was 73, seven points lower than the UAE. India’s reading was only 32.

    Measured by size, PM is the tiny particles of sand, chemicals or dust that float around the air, a lot of it invisible to the naked eye.

    It is associated with heart disease and attacks, cancers and strokes. In its smallest form it is known as PM2.5. A PM10 is less than the width of a human hair.

    “Particulate matter is particularly important because it is linked to premature mortality,” says professor Ranjeet Sokhi, director of the Centre for Atmospheric and Instrumentation Research (Cair) at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK.

    “There is mounting evidence that finer particles, represented by PM2.5, are particularly hazardous to health, although coarse fractions are also of health importance.

    A report last year by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, or Ead, offered a breakdown of the sources of PM2.5. It said between 54 and 67 per cent came from man-made sources.

    Almost half of these particles were a secondary aerosol of sulphate and ammonia, from oil production and refining. A quarter were from mineral dust; between 13 and 15 per cent were from traffic, and 11 per cent originated in industry and shipping.

    “PM2.5 is monitored in Abu Dhabi due to its effect on public health, but there are no established federal limits,” according to Ead.

    “However, it is known that the pressures on air quality are increasing with rising transport, water and electricity demand, expansion of the oil and gas sector, industrialisation, and increase in construction and demolition activities.”

    The desert environment in the UAE means the air will always contain significant amounts of windblown dust, especially during dust storms.
  6. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    PM2.5 reading is at 231 at present in Shanghai (I have a phone app to monitor it). It is often bad for weeks on end over the winter months, especially on the run up to Chinese New Year. Pollution is a major problem and people do leave because of it. The city is permanently, at this time of year, grey and foggy/smoggy. Schools (at least the good ones) have air purifiers installed and many folks buy one to use at home. Pupils are kept inside when the quality is bad and PE lessons/events are often suspended. This obviously doesn't help when you do need to go outside and a good quality mask is also needed.

    Personally, I wouldn't bring a family here, but if you are a fit and healthy adult with no asthmatic problems, you may well decide to go for it bearing in mind salaries are generally very good and the city itself is amazing. Shanghai has a lot to offer, but if you are concerned about pollution then it's a no no.
  7. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

  8. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

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