Biking in bad air? Only these face masks will protect you.

Beijing air pollution

While most of the Winter B-icicle Challengers around the world are facing the same difficulties: dodging snowflakes, slippery patches of ice, and the never ending battle with those pesky cars, only those of you in the bigger cities will have to deal with problems related to air pollution.

For those of you living in a Chinese city air pollution is a genuine hazard. Here in Beijing the US Embassy has a twitter (@BeijingAir) that every hour or so alerts followers of Beijing’s air pollution levels, and in November of last year pollution levels became so bad they showed up as ‘Crazy Bad’. Apparently someone in the embassy with a sense of humour had listed that as anything over 500 (which is beyond their testing limits).

Since then the embassy have changed ‘Crazy Bad’ to ‘Beyond Index’ and in the last few days it’s turned up far too often on @BeijingAir.

I snapped the above photo on my way to work. But, as luck would have it, today at work I published a neat-o infographic we’d been working on which details precautions you can take to protect yourself from air pollution. I’ve included an excerpt below but head here to see the whole thing.

One simple and affordable measure I would take is wearing an N95 mask. You can buy these from Taobao for only 17RMB (I’ve just bought two for Emily and I), and apparently can also be found at pharmacies. Be sure to buy the correct type however, as listed below. Surgical masks won’t do you any good.

Air pollution masks

Leave a Reply