How-to Guides

Pollution & How to deal with it:

What is Pollution and PM 2.5
First of all let’s start with some definitions on Pollution

1/ Wikipedia:

“Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollution

And Specifically Air pollution:

“Air pollution:- the release of chemicals and particulates into the atmosphere. Common gaseous pollutants include carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide,chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and nitrogen oxides produced by industry and motor vehicles. Photochemical ozone and smog are created as nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons react to sunlight.Particulate matter, or fine dust is characterized by their micrometre size PM10 to PM2.5.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollution#Forms_of_pollution

2/ But if you are not a fan of Wikipidia and want to have a fun time whilst crying about pollution, Tiki the penguin can help you out 😉 :

http://tiki.oneworld.net/pollution/pollution2.html

3/ If you want to be more serious, check out BusinessDictionary :

Presence of matter (gas, liquid, solid) or energy (heat, noise, radiation) whose nature, location, or quantity directly or indirectly alters characteristics or processes of any part of the environment, and causes (or has the potential to cause) damage to the condition, health, safety, or welfare of animals, humans, plants, or property.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/pollution.html#ixzz2psL13xiS

 

4/ And if you want to be absolutely scientific about it, World Health Organisation:

http://www.who.int/topics/air_pollution/en/

 

5/ Next definition is PM 2.5, which is what you will read about when learning about pollutions in cities of the West and East.

For more information on PM 2.5, follow the link below.

“The term fine particles, or particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5), refers to tiny particles or droplets in the air that are two and one half microns or less in width. Like inches, meters and miles, a micron is a unit of measurement for distance. There are about 25,000 microns in an inch. The widths of the larger particles in the PM2.5 size range would be about thirty times smaller than that of a human hair. The smaller particles are so small that several thousand of them could fit on the period at the end of this sentence.”

http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/indoors/air/pmq_a.htm

6/ Statistics – Carbon Dioxide by Country: China is currently below the USA but it’s catching up. But double check with the above WHO link for the pure scientific facts.

InternChina – Carbon Dioxide by Country

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CO2-by-country–1990-2025.png
Now that we understand pollution better, let’s find out how you live with it and ensure to protect yourself!

Nbr 1: Take out your smartphone and download an App which can track pollution/PM2.5 levels ‘live’, in your city or your destination city.

Android users:
-Name: Air Quality China (developed by: Liu Qiang)
-Name: China Air Quality (developed by: Insdio)

Iphone/Apple users:
-Name: China Air Quality Index (developed by: freshideasstudio)
-Name: Air Quality China (developed by: computerapplicationsstudio)

Nbr2: Health Masks
There are many brands, unbranded, fashionable, #overthetop masks out there – for all budgets. But there are a few important points to remember when buying a pollution mask, to ensure you’re actually protecting yourself:
– They must be PM2.5 protecting certified.
– You will need to change the filters every week, or month or 6 months depending on the brands.
– You have to wear them 🙂

What types are available?
Millions, but here are two typical examples (follow the links for more!):

1/ RESPRO: (Thank you to Sean King, , InternChina alumni, now working full time in China, for suggesting this)

Professional for sports and walking:

InternChina – Sports-specific Pollution Masks

http://respro.com/store/product/cinqro-mask

2/ Disposable Face Masks that can be bought for 26.-RMB in supermarkets (notice it says: PM 2.5)

InternChina – Pollution Masks

http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2013/04/whered-you-get-that-mask/

Want more information on how to protect yourself?
You can find a lot of tips here:
http://www.myredstar.com/smog-living/
http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/20130201-pm25-steps.html

You want to do outdoor sports (running, cycling,…) and not sure how it will affect your body?
(Thank you to Maxime Dupuis, InternChina alumni now working full time in China, for suggesting this)
Check this handy link out:
http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/wellness/Exhaust-Yourself-20120801.html

Want to fight pollution but don’t have the multi-million $ funds or time to lobby the government to do so ? Buy one of these:

InternChina - Air-purifying bike
InternChina – Air-purifying bike

http://phys.org/news/2013-12-bangkok-attention-air-purifying-bike-idea.html

 

Chinese Government response to pollution?

A bit of Humour dear Blog reader?
“yes yes please”

OK buddy!:

The Chinese government released an official list of the “Benefits of Pollution”, please read on:

1. It unifies Chinese people.
Complaining about smog has brought Chinese citizens together. The haze “is everywhere,” the article continues, from “every big city” to “small cities, towns, and villages.”

2. It makes China more equal.
Never mind that wealth inequality remains deep and pervasive in China; everyone has to breathe the same filthy air, right? “Of course,” the article admits, the rich can retreat to their luxury cars or use other means to avoid the worst pollution. “But that is after all a minority,” and even they “have a hard time” avoiding the smog completely.

3. It raises citizen awareness.
Here it gets a bit earnest. The article insists that “with the whole world playing up the Chinese miracle,” the pollution “reminds us that China’s status as ‘the world’s factory’ is not without a price.”

4. Chinese people are funnier when they are contending with deadly smog.
The article lists a number of popular smog-related wisecracks. The best example from a meagre crop: “We’re never farther away than when we hold hands on the street — and I can’t see you.”

5. The haze makes Chinese people more knowledgeable.
The article concludes that “through the arguments and the jokes” surrounding China’s pollution, “our knowledge of meteorology, geography, physics, chemistry, and history has progressed.” Also, students of English have added terms like “haze” and “smog” to their lexicon.

http://www.tealeafnation.com/2013/12/chinese-unamused-by-state-media-touted-five-surprising-benefits-of-pollution/

There is also another advantage stating that it is a military advantage that Missiles cannot function properly in the Smog as the tracking equipment doesn’t work in polluted environments…

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

All in all, pollution is everywhere in the world, it is a sad fact and we all need to do our own part in trying to fight it whilst the governments wake up. But in the meantime follow the above tips to ensure that you reach your 256th birthday in all comfort and safety.
Thank you for reading, and breathing minty fresh in China since 2006,
Philippe Touzin

 

Now you know how to deal with the pollution, there’s nothing stopping you from kick-starting your career with an internship in China! Apply Now!