Q. We are flying from New York to Shanghai this December and have heard horror stories about air pollution. Is it really that bad?
A. A very useful website to monitor air quality around the world is aqicn.org. Just add /city/(name of city) at the end of the URL to find a real-time air quality index. For November 12, Shanghai's air quality is listed to be at 173, considered to be unhealthy. Anything above 300 is hazardous. If you happen to suffer from asthma or other health conditions, you'd probably want to limit outdoor excercise and stay indoors whenever possible. You can also follow the US Consulate in Shanghai for additional updates regarding air quality during your stay.