This is definitely the worst air quality I have encountered in China, even worse than when it was so bad you couldn’t see the plane at the gate and all the flights were delayed by several hours.  Air quality on arrival:


For pollution of this level, the recommendation is: “Everyone should avoid all physical activity outdoors; people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should remain indoors and keep activity levels low.”  I don’t know how people manage with air quality this bad as often as it is…On a positive note, China is the world’s largest investor in renewable energy according to the UN Environmental Programme’s annual report on renewable energy and it is starting the world’s largest carbon market.  A lot of effort is going into addressing environmental issues, but as yet the impact on air quality in Beijing and many other major cities is yet to be seen.



7 thoughts on “Eek!”

  1. Now I know why Chinese often show up in photos wearing masks. I assume you get to leave that soupy air, while residents have to live with it. Wonder if there’s any publicly available information about the health effects of that air (I use the term loosely.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, almost everyone (including me!) is wearing masks when it is that bad. There is a lot of general research on the link between particles <2.5 μm and various health issues, but I am no sure how much is available on actual impacts in China. This article ( links to a study by scientists at Berkley that uses statistical methods and estimates that 1.6 million deaths are caused by air pollution in China every year.


  2. Good to know they’re taking it seriously. But as with all problems (not just in China), only when it reaches catastrophic proportions. And of course, it’s the sort of problem that affects everyone, elite included.

    Liked by 1 person

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