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Pictures | Thu Jan 24, 2013 | 5:15am EST

China says major pollutant levels dropping, but hard task ahead

A group of expatriates stand along the Bund as they distribute face masks to pedestrians to raise awareness of air pollution in downtown Shanghai January 24, 2013. According with the U.S. consulate air quality readings, which measure PM2.5 particulates Shanghai's air quality was "very unhealthy" on Thursday. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A group of expatriates stand along the Bund as they distribute face masks to pedestrians to raise awareness of air pollution in downtown Shanghai January 24, 2013. According with the U.S. consulate air quality readings, which measure PM2.5...more

A group of expatriates stand along the Bund as they distribute face masks to pedestrians to raise awareness of air pollution in downtown Shanghai January 24, 2013. According with the U.S. consulate air quality readings, which measure PM2.5 particulates Shanghai's air quality was "very unhealthy" on Thursday. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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A group of expatriates walk along the Bund as they distribute face masks to pedestrians to raise awareness of air pollution in downtown Shanghai January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A group of expatriates walk along the Bund as they distribute face masks to pedestrians to raise awareness of air pollution in downtown Shanghai January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A group of expatriates walk along the Bund as they distribute face masks to pedestrians to raise awareness of air pollution in downtown Shanghai January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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Expatriates put face masks on statues as they raise awareness of air pollution in downtown Shanghai January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Expatriates put face masks on statues as they raise awareness of air pollution in downtown Shanghai January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Expatriates put face masks on statues as they raise awareness of air pollution in downtown Shanghai January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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A group of expatriates walk along the Bund as they distribute face masks to pedestrians to raise awareness of air pollution in downtown Shanghai January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A group of expatriates walk along the Bund as they distribute face masks to pedestrians to raise awareness of air pollution in downtown Shanghai January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A group of expatriates walk along the Bund as they distribute face masks to pedestrians to raise awareness of air pollution in downtown Shanghai January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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Bian Bingbin distributes face masks to pedestrians to raise awareness of air pollution in downtown Shanghai January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Bian Bingbin distributes face masks to pedestrians to raise awareness of air pollution in downtown Shanghai January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Bian Bingbin distributes face masks to pedestrians to raise awareness of air pollution in downtown Shanghai January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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