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Beijing Air Quality

These are pretty scary articles about the reality that we in Beijing face on a nearly daily basis.  There are a lot of ex-pats here, me included, that are seriously considering alternate possibilities to living here.  There is the very real worry about what the air quality is doing to our bodies long term.  While I realize that there are millions of Chinese that have to deal with this on a daily basis without a possibility of change, there is the question of why we are putting out bodies at risk when we are fortunate enough to have the choice of where we live.

While the air quality has never been good in my five years here, it does seem that we have had a lot of very, very bad days this fall.  At school we keep our students from going outside if the reading (from the U.S. embassy) is over 300 points.  There have been at least 10 days this year so far, more than all of last year, where the kids have not been allowed to go outside.  Days with reading that high really affect the psyche, making many of us not want to do anything but sit inside, though without air filters things are not all that much better inside.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/11/in-china-time-is-not-ripe-for-honest-air-pollution-readings/247817/

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/oct/29/world/la-fg-china-air-quality-20111030

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