Looking out over the vast city of Beijing you would never guess that it was a sunny, cloudless day. Buildings and skyscrapers are enveloped in a thick smog and the lack wind is keeping right in place. Residents of the city are being told to stay indoors as much as possible to protect their lungs and sinuses.
China is no stranger to high industrial pollution especially during the winter months, however, this January has been a nightmare for residents. During the colder months coal is used to heat the large industrial building and manufacturing plants which adds to its already high pollution. China has also seen an increase in vehicles being purchased. Automobile emissions, coal soot and industrial emissions mixed with 36 degree Fahrenheit temperatures and no wind sent the stage for respiratory and heart problems for many people.
reported earlier this week that the air quality index (unit of measure for air quality) was at 755. To better put that number in prospective we look at Bakersfield, California. Bakersfield has the highest pollution in the United States and throughout the last 12 months the highest that the air quality index reached was 159.
The level of air quality for Beijing has led to an outrageous number of face masks and respiratory systems being sold in China. ABC World also included:
According to the figures released by Taobao and Tmall, China’s two biggest shopping websites, 500,000 masks were sold in two days. That number was three times more than the previous week.
has also released two photos, one is from the 3rd of January and the second one is from the 14th of January. You can clearly see the difference and the impact that the pollution is having on the entire country. Not only is Beijing being affected but so is Tianjin, China.
Hospitals are seeing an increase in respiratory health problems, businesses are running out of face and respiratory masks, and visibility is extremely low. The air quality is being said to be hazardous to people's health and there has yet to be a clean answer on when it may improve. As of now, people are being cautioned to keep their mouths and noses covered to keep the micro-particles from getting into their lungs and causing more problems.