The Greenpeace analysis of China's government data showed that Shanghai's Waigaoqiao coal-fired power plant had been emitting pollutants over local emission standards 18 percent of the time. Research also found that the plant had not used the new national nitrogen oxide standards implemented in July.
"The systematic violations, in a mega power plant in the middle of China's most important economic centre and the failure by the regulator to effectively intervene, illustrate the challenge that China faces in controlling emissions from its massive coal industry," Lauri Myllyvirta, a senior global anti-coal campaigner with Greenpeace told the Guardian.
Nitrogen oxide are some of the components of PM2.5 fine particulate matter. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, PM2.5 can cause asthma, bronchitis, a number of respiratory ailments as well as death.
Air pollution remains a severe problem in the country. Coal, the main source of China’s pollution, provides 80 percent of the country’s electricity, according to Greenpeace.