Magazine

Mar 4, 2015

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air

Awareness of the dangers of Beijing's skies is on the rise, thanks to growing data on its air quality. Rising public discontent over the state of the environment has proved a powerful catalyst for change amid signs the government is starting to take the environment seriously. China will "declare war on pollution," Premier Li Keqiang told parliament in an opening address in 2014. A tougher environmental law took effect on January 1 this year.

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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A heating station chimney is seen through a hole in a steel wall at a construction site in Beijing December 2, 2014. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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Kong Ning wears a wedding dress decorated with 999 face masks for her performance art work 'Marry the blue sky' as she poses for a photograph in front of the China Central Television (CCTV) Headquarters on a hazy day in Beijing November 19, 2014. Wearing a 10 meter-long wedding dress decorated with face masks is a part of Kong Ning's performance art work which signifies her frustration with air pollution. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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Wang Yan wears a mask as he stretches after jogging in a park on a hazy day in Beijing January 14, 2015. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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Liu Ruiqiang measures the air quality with his particle counter on a balcony at his house, as his daughter looks on, in Beijing February 3, 2015. Ruiqiang put up with chronic smog in China's capital of Beijing, but he didn't want to take any chances when his daughter was born. The salesman now carries a handheld pollution sensor everywhere. On days when air pollution reaches hazardous levels, his toddler daughter is confined to their home, where a pair of constantly whirring air purifiers make it safer to breathe. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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Liu Ke's mask, a new filter (R) and a used filter which he had used for two weeks are seen on a table in Beijing December 19, 2014. Liu rides a bicycle almost everyday to avoid Beijing's congested traffic. He said it is necessary for him to wear a mask when air pollution levels increase to protect himself. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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Liu Ke, wears a mask as he carries his bicycle in Beijing December 19, 2014. Liu rides a bicycle almost everyday to avoid Beijing's congested traffic. He said it is necessary for him to wear a mask when air pollution levels increase, to protect himself. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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Students hold a HEPA filter as they prepare to put it on a fan at a workshop to learn how to make the DIY air purifier at a college in Beijing October 23, 2014. Smart Air, a company which invented the DIY air filter, said that their DIY device, which combines a basic household fan with a simple HEPA filter can reduce particulate air pollution indoors at low-cost. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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Yong Xiaoyan, wears a nose mask as she works at her office in Beijing December 11, 2014. The office worker said she has used the mask everyday since she found out she was pregnant and was concerned that Beijing's air pollution could harm her foetus. The nose mask which was developed by a medical company can filter out tiny particles of pollution, the company said. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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Yong Xiaoyan, puts on a nose mask at her office in Beijing December 11, 2014. The office worker said she has used the mask everyday since she found out she was pregnant and was concerned that Beijing's air pollution could harm her foetus. The nose mask which was developed by a medical company can filter out tiny particles of pollution, the company said. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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Korean J.Kim fills a bottle with herb tea, which was recommended to him by his Chinese medicine doctor to help with bronchial trouble, at his house in Beijing November 2, 2014. J.Kim has worked in China for more than ten years and suffers from rhinitis and asthma. He believes these bronchial problems are caused by Beijing's polluted air. He is hoping to transfer to a new job in Seoul with his company because of the air pollution issue. He currently lives alone in Beijing after sending his family back to Korea as he was worried that air pollution could harm his children's health. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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J.Kim, takes medicine for his bronchial trouble at his house in Beijing November 2, 2014. J.Kim, who is Korean, has worked in China for more than ten years and suffers from rhinitis and asthma. He believes these bronchial problems are caused by Beijing's polluted air. He is hoping to transfer to a new job in Seoul with his company because of the air pollution issue. He currently lives alone in Beijing after sending his family back to Korea as he was worried that air pollution could harm his children's health. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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A child plays at the indoor playground 'Adventure Zone' at Kerry Hotel in Beijing February 12, 2015. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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A boy looks at an air purifier at the indoor playground 'Adventure Zone' at Kerry Hotel in Beijing February 12, 2015. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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A model wearing a creation by fashion designer Chi Zhang takes a rest at a rehearsal for Chi Zhang's fashion show in Beijing November 22, 2014. Zhang said China's air pollution is one of his prime inspirations and the embellished images of gas masks and the phrase "Fxxk Air Pollution" are trademarks in his creations. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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A model shows a creation by fashion designer Chi Zhang at a rehearsal for Chi Zhang's fashion show in Beijing November 22, 2014. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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Fashion designer Chi Zhang, poses with a face mask which he designed, at his shop in Beijing November 4, 2014. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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Researchers work at a lab to analyze air quality at Beijing municipal environmental monitoring centre December 1, 2014. The centre has 35 satellite monitoring stations to detect air quality in the capital and release the level of pollutant data to the public after collecting and analyzing sample of the air, the centre said. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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Devices to collect samples of Beijing's air are installed on the roof of a Beijing municipal environmental monitoring centre December 1, 2014. The centre has 35 satellite monitoring stations to detect air quality in the capital and release the level of pollutant data to the public after collecting and analyzing sample of the air, the centre said. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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A combination picture shows statues of pandas on a sunny day (L) and a polluted day in Beijing. Pictures taken November 17, 2014 (L) and January 14, 2015 (R). KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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A combination picture shows the Tiananmen Gate where the portrait of China's late Chairman Mao Zedong is displayed on a sunny day (L) and a polluted day in Beijing. Picture takens November 17, 2014 (L) and January 15, 2015 (R). KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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A combination picture shows a statue of China's late Chairman Mao Zedong on a sunny day (L) and a polluted day in Beijing. Pictures taken November 17, 2014 (L) and January 14, 2015 (R). KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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A combination picture shows the National Grand Theatre, which has been nicknamed "The Egg," on a sunny day (L) and a polluted day in Beijing. Picture takens November 17, 2014 (L) and November 19, 2014 (R). KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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A combination picture shows China Central Radio and Television Tower (CCTV Tower) on a sunny day (L) and a polluted day in Beijing. Pictures taken December 19, 2014 (L) and January 15, 2015 (R). KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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A combination picture shows a commercial building on a sunny day (L) and a polluted day in Beijing. Pictures taken November 17, 2014 (L) and January 14, 2015 (R). KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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A combination picture shows buildings on a sunny day (L) and a polluted day in Beijing. Pictures taken December 19, 2014 (L) and January 15, 2015 (R). KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Beijing’s Battle For Fresh Air
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Kong Ning wears a wedding dress decorated with 999 face masks for her performance art work 'Marry the blue sky' as she poses along with her series of paintings titled 'smog baby' at her studio in Beijing November 19, 2014. Wearing a 10 meter-long wedding dress decorated with face masks is a part of Kong Ning's performance art work which signifies her frustration with air pollution. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

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