As China already issued two red alerts due to unprecedented smog levels, the Chinese buy bottled air imported from Canada. This is the first time China issued a red alert and for the sake of the people schools and highways were closed. Experts believe that this represents a turning point for the country.
The latest alert which was issued last week was applied to five cities, Beijing being one of them. On Tuesday, the concentration of the particulates surpassed 500 micrograms per cubic meter in Beijing. The World Health Organization recommends exposure to maximum 25 micrograms per cubic meter in 24 hours. These particulates, especially the ones that have less than 2,5 microns in diameter can lead to lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, chronic astma and stroke. Because they are so small, they can be inhaled by the humans and they can reach the lungs and can be absorbed into the blood.
1,6 million people die every year in China because of the persistent air pollution in China, according to Berkeley Earth. Experts are concerned that the polluted air will affect the lungs of children and they expect many cases of lung function problems in the near future.
As more and more pollution crises arise in China, the Chinese people are getting anxious. Since the government issued the red alerts it means that the situations that China has been facing recently are really dangerous.
A professor from UCLA, Alex Wang, says that waking up and checking the app to see the quality of the air is slowly becoming a habit in China. Based on the information provided by the app, people decide if they need to put a mask on when going out or if they will let their kids play outside.
As people grow more concerned, the news of clean air imported from Canada by Vitality Air, came as no surprise. 500 bottles of air were sold in four days and due to the high demand, 4,000 bottles are now on their way to China. The price range of bottled air is between 16$ and 46$.
Professor Yang doesn’t think that bottled air is the solution to China’s current problem. She advises people to buy better masks, like the 3M-N95 model that can block the PM2.5 better than any mask. Because these masks are uncomfortable, people usually wear cloth masks that are cheaper and easier to use.
Air filters are another way that can help the Chinese people battle the air pollution, but they are more expensive, their prices going up to 300$. Other people have decided to do more than that and have relocated, but that is an option for few people.
As not many people have the necessary means to move house to regions with clear air, the Chinese will continue to buy bottled air imported from Canada polluted air and will wait for the government to make some changes.
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