Air Pollution in China - The Battle Ahead

dirty air pollution China                                 

A War Fought with Industry Regulations and Air Purifiers

China is a large country and extremely busy, teeming with heavy industry, cars on the roads, people in the streets and toxins in the air. Many studies and projects have been undertaken as an attempt to quell this dilemma. The increasing health hazards and air pollution has taken rise in many other countries as well, including India, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia and parts of North America, such as California and Texas.

Pictures of hazy Chinese cities are popping up in social media feeds around the world, showing residents wearing face masks in a feeble attempt to protect themselves. Others depict buildings almost disappearing in air pollution fog. The term "airpocalypse" has become a popular term since 2013, the year the world became more aware of the ongoing crisis facing China's smog ridden cities.

China remains the most populous country in the world with more than 1.3 billion residents. It has overtaken the United States as the world’s economic superpower. But in recent years, it’s the dangerous air pollution that is the most talked-about Chinese product. The few pollution standards in place are often not adhered to by industry, and enforcement of these standards needs to be improved. Greenpeace warned that almost 300 Chinese cities badly failed air-quality standard measurements in 2015.

 

Health Effects of Air Pollution

Breathing these toxins day in and day out is bound to have an effect on its population. Experts are mostly concerned about fine particles that get deposited into the lung, or very fine particles that get into the bloodstream. In addition, the smog blanketing most of China contains toxic chemicals and gases.

smog pollution in China

Residents and visitors to Beijing, for example, often complain of itchy eyes and a cough - sometimes called the “infamous Beijing cough”. Studies link China’s air pollution problem with numerous major health effects, including cancer, respiratory diseases and cardiac concerns.

As it stands, the growing problem of air pollution is not only costly for the economy and the health-care system. It also affects tourism and outdoor recreation.

There was some hope before and during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games that progress towards cleaner air was being made, but the relief was temporary. Chemicals, carcinogens and irritating gases continue to wreak havoc on the Chinese population. Experts say that more than 1.6 million lives are lost each year (4,000 a day) due to health problems associated with China’s air pollution. Almost 20 percent of China's soil is contaminated and the country’s food supply is increasingly tainted.

 dirty air in China

China Announces War on Air Pollution

As the public becomes more aware and concerned, the government is finally starting to act on its air pollution problem. It has officially declared war on air pollution and launched a $7.6 billion fund to combat air pollution.

Proposed changes include

(New technologies include mist cannons, for example, which shoot into the air a spray that disperses smog particles. They may become more common if they are shown to work.)

Twice this winter, China has issued a red alert, its most severe air pollution warning. Some factories were temporarily shut down and schools were closed. The population was urged to stay indoors.

Still, some critics say the government is not moving fast enough and not doing enough to improve the air quality in China. Not surprisingly, many individuals take matters into their own hands.

 face mask china pollution

Masks and Air Purifiers

If moving to safer areas is out of the question, many Chinese look for ways to better protect themselves and their families. Interest in face masks and air purifiers has skyrocketed in recent years. Those who can afford it, buy air purifiers, water purification systems and air monitors, often from abroad.

Companies try to meet demand. Face masks, personal room air purifiers, car air purifiers and other purification systems are readily available online and in stores throughout China.

Even schools acknowledge the threat and in Beijing the education system plans to make air purifiers a common feature in new schools, Chinese media report.

To remove fine particles as well as toxic chemicals and gases, a room air purifier should come equipped with a HEPA and an activated carbon filter. This combination also works best for car air purifiers.

About Carbon Blends

Our standard “EXEC” carbon blend has a very large internal surface area and works exceptionally well for a wide range of air pollutants. 

 

The “Vocarb” carbon blend is our most recommended and best-selling specialty carbon blend. Vocarb stands for Volatile organic compounds or VOCs and this include a variety of chemicals that can cause a range of health problems including shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and eye, nose, lung and throat irritation. Some VOC's are suspected to cause cancer in humans and have been shown to cause cancer in animals. The long-term health effects caused by VOC's would depend on the concentration and length of exposure.

 

Some chemicals adhere better to different types of carbon materials and carbon blends. Over the years we’ve sourced and developed over 40 carbon blends. If you have an odor or chemical you need to remove, we have a blend to target it