We interrupt this trip home to bring you a public message

from the US Consulate in Shanghai.

Message for U.S. Citizens

As documented by official Chinese monitors and confirmed by the
Mission’s air quality monitors, air pollution levels in Beijing and many
parts of eastern China during the month of January have been extremely
high. We know that winter months typically have higher AQI readings
than other seasons and that Spring Festival Eve (February 9, 2013) may
have extremely high pollution levels due to the fireworks.

While there are many causes for the elevated air pollution levels
(including industrial and vehicular pollution and coal burning), the
region has also experienced multiple inversion weather patterns over
the past few weeks, reducing average air flow and essentially trapping
the pollution in place which contribute to the problem. Air quality
can differ greatly between cities or between urban and rural areas and
U.S. citizens living in or traveling to China may wish to consult their
doctor when living in or prior to traveling to areas with significant
air pollution.

The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection provides its own air
quality data for cities throughout China. You can view the information
at english.mep.gov.cn .

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing provides air quality data and additional
information about air quality on its website. The U.S. Consulates in
Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Shanghai also make air quality data available.
These data are updated frequently and may be viewed from the following
links:

* U.S. Embassy Beijing provides information about air quality data and
information about air quality

*U.S. Consulate in Chengdu air quality data

*U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou air quality data

*U.S. Consulate in Shanghai air quality data
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