After a rain, the sun just came out!! View from our balcony.
Beijing city gates throughthe smog, yesterday, AQI around 385.
In Los Angeles, air pollution rated 90 on the AQI (Air Quality Index) has been shown to hurt kids’ lung development. Over 100 in most places is called “ozone alert day,” unsafe for sensitive people, like those with ashthma. The danger here is ultrafine dust. The same EPA index
(there’s a monitor on the rooftop of the American Embassy) rated Beijing’s air the past few days over 300, or “Dangerous.” “Emergency” conditions occurred, with AQI over 500 (also called “Beyond Index,” and “super crazy bad”) twice this fall. Once was Sunday.
Note that 200 is four times worse than 100, and Beijing is only China’s fourth most polluted city.
Expats are obsessed with this. We “splurged” on a Swedish air purifier for the kids’ room. The international schools use air purifiers and cancel recess and sports over 250. Our special Japanese “Totobobo” masks required a daytrip to the 1 store that carries them.
China Daily today reports today Chinese lung cancer rates up 50% in the past decade, nationwide. (Pancreatic cancer, newsy after Steve Jobs’ death, was reported, in Shanghai, to be up 500% in 2010, versus 1980.)
Considering the lavish love given to [only] children here, the carefree attitude about kids’ seatbelts & helmets surprises. Brilliant academics don’t have air purifiers at home.
And I have never seen an air mask on a child.