Those scanable bar codes you see on products and in advertisements are now being used in a Chinese school to keep parents up to date on the pollution levels in their children's classrooms.
A middle school in Yangpu district has posted the "QR codes" which parentscan scan with their smartphones.
The school put up the square bar codes as part of a pilot program that aims to assure parents that their children won't be breathing toxic fumes from classroom renovations.
Many schools renovate their interiors during summer and parents worry that the two-month period isn't long enough for the noxious fumes from some construction materials, which can contain carcinogens such as methylbenzene, to dissipate.
The QR codes, which can be scanned with most mobile devices, offer parents a simple way to check the air quality and other details about the renovations.
The pilot program is expected to eventually be implemented citywide, and could be expanded to places like hospitals, shopping malls and movie theaters.
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