Tuesday, December 10, 2013


We had a few days of poor air quality last year that left me whining to my husband about our need to invest in an air purifier. I believe the conversation went something like this:

Me: This pollution is killing me. We need an air purifier.
Matthew: That's probably a good idea.
Me: But what about our cat? Her lungs are sooooo tiny. This pollution could really harm her. Don't you care about our baby?!?!
Matthew: I agree, we should really get one.
Me: cough, cough. I can hardly breathe. cough, cough
Matthew: Kristin, you're being dramatic. I already said we could buy one.

Little did I know how glad I would be for that air purifier and how silly whining about AQI (Air Quality Index) levels in the 300s would seem. This past week, we experienced pollution so intense, it registered over 500. I should mention that 500 happens to be as high as the scale will go. Our numbers were coming in beyond the index.

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The smog was thick enough to reduce visibility to 150 feet in some places. These shots from my apartment show our normal view and how hazy our neighborhood became on Friday.

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And for a more horrifying comparison, check out this photo my friend Lesley posted on her blog of visibility on the Bund.

Hazardous levels of pollution also meant adding an additional accessory to my outfit on Friday. A face mask. While the mask helped to reduce the amount of particles I was breathing in, it did little to squelch the scent of the pollution. The entire city smelled like it was on fire.

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Thankfully, colder air and some wind seem to have decreased the levels today and I'm hoping for clearer air the rest of this week. But just in case, I've purchased this panda Vogmask. If I have to cover my face, I might as well do it with cute pandas.



  1. Indoor air pollution is one of the world's most difficult toxic pollution problems today. Why is it so prevalent and what simple ways can it be changed for the good of our health?


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