Air Pollution in China
Air pollution in China is something that you have probably heard stories about. It is common knowledge that places in China have particularly bad air pollution levels which can be very off-putting for some people.
Places like Beijing and Shanghai have had to close their cities down for the day due to air pollution or censor car use and smoke prohibitions in the city. While pollution is a known problem in the coastal cities, not much is said about the mainland. Pollution can be a problem in the mainland as well, certain days and times of the year are worse than others, but it can get quite bad.
Oftentimes, air pollution gets worse in the winter here in Chengdu. This is because we are in a valley flanked by mountains—the weather pattern forces air to become stagnant and trapped in the basin of these mountains. Also, people are burning more fuel in the winter and the surrounding factories are producing more waste that is getting exponentially trapped as well.
There will be a couple holidays where people burn certain objects or set off fireworks as well—and while that might not seem like it would contribute to the problem, if you think of the sheer number of people living here and burning, it can add up very quickly.
You can definitely notice days with bad air pollution as soon as you step outside. The air is thick, foggy, and heavy. You can’t see very far in the distance and it might bother your throat and lungs. Here are three things you can do about it:
1. Air Purifier
One of the most effective ways of dealing with air pollution is to stay indoors and turn on your air purification system. These can be bought online very easily in China and run, on average, about 1,000 to 3,000 yuan—around $200.
It is an investment but a very wise one. The quality of the air purifier will depend on how much you are willing to spend as well, so be careful to choose a little higher quality.
2. Face Mask
As with air purifiers, if you need to go outside, your best bet is to wear a face mask. These can also be bought online and range from about 20-200 yuan– $3 to $30. The price range is a bit bigger because the quality ranges a bit more—anything from disposable to apocalypse ready.
It also depends on if you want to do activities outside, such as jogging or biking, or just wear them to go to the store. My recommendation is a Cambridge fabric mask that filters out most bigger air particles and still gives you a little feeling of freedom, (not wearing a mask). And it comes in different colors and designs!
3. Drink Plenty of Water
This goes without saying for your health anyway, but especially when days are heavily polluted, It’s a good idea to pump fluids into your body to eliminate waste and combat that throat and lung pain. You can’t drink water from the faucets, however, so be sure to buy some gallons before you lock yourself in your apartment or classroom!
There are days in mainland China with heavy pollution, just like coastal cities. Be sure to keep an eye on the air quality index and combat the pollution with purification systems!