As PT Barnum would say, 'there's a sucker born every minute'. Fresh air being sold in soda pop cans in China
Air pollution at its worst levels since 1954
Being the industrial leader of Asia carries a steep price. In China, the air is so polluted that wealthy Chinese entrepreneur Chen Guangbiao, is selling fresh air in soft drinks cans. The concept is similar to bottled water. Each can is sold for about 80 cents. Chen says he wants to raise awareness of environmental protection among government officials.
Masks have become practical fashion on Beijing's busy streets.
It must be noted that ordinary medical masks do not provide enough protection. Some Beijing citizens have taken more serious measures by wearing gas masks. In one Beijing city office, as many as 20 workers wore the protective headgear at their desks.
A noxious haze has blanketed northern China. Beijing residents are choking on toxic smog. According to the People's Daily newspaper, the air hasn't been this bad since 1954.
Twenty-four out of January's first 29 days this year has had air classified as hazardous. The Air Quality Index from the U.S. embassy, designed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, shows that the concentration of fine particulate matter, or PM 2.5, has been hovering at the top of the scale since late last week. The condition calls for protective measures to be taken.
Visibility has been reduced to 100 yards in downtown Beijing. More than 100 passenger flights have been cancelled during a time when millions start the journey home for Chinese New Year.
"If we don't pay attention to environmental protection, in 10 years every one of us will be wearing gas masks and carrying oxygen tanks on the streets," Cheng told ABC News. "By that time, my canned fresh air will be a necessity for household," he predicts.
There has been a sharp increase in the number of respiratory illnesses, particularly among children and the elderly. A pediatric hospital in downtown Beijing has treated a record 9,000 children this month. They are mostly flu, pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma patients.
Adding to the crisis was a text from the government, sent to millions of cell phones warning residents to stay indoors. Beijing environmental authorities temporarily shut down 103 high-emission factories on Tuesday and ordered 30 percent of government cars off the roads.
Premier Wen Jiabao has called for reduced emissions and increased environmental awareness. The measures will continue until Thursday, when weather forecasts predict strong wind will sweep into Beijing and blow away the smog.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: China, air pollution, oxygen, oxygen masks, air quality
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Asia Pacific News
- Savage and Deadly, Cyclone Mahasen batters Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, moves into India
- Indian families go to drastic measures to protect daughters from rape
- Organ Trafficking: Indian family says their young daughter was killed for organ harvesting
- NK's Kim Jong-Un appoints THIRD army chief in less than two years
- Astonishing miracle in the heinous Bangladesh building collapse: 'God is so merciful!'
- Children as young as five years old forced to work in India's coal mines
- China deals major financial blow to Kim Jong Un
- Five killed in sharp, violent volcanic eruption in the Philippines
- World's most bizzare border dispute baffles Asian nuclear superpowers
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?