Don’t let the “clean” air fool you.


After last week’s “Airpocalypse” in which Chengdu saw the citywide API (Air Pollution Index) sitting above 400 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m), people’s attention is drawn to the fact that air quality here is not so hot.

Naturally, during bad air quality days as the only authorized retailer of Respro in town we got a lot of inquiries about our masks. Then the API dips back down to it’s normal winter range of 200 – 250 μg/m. At this point, something even stranger happens: people quit asking about our masks.

According to the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), low air quality areas that have an average 70 μg/m or more causes an estimated 3.7 million premature deaths annually. For 2015 Chengdu’s average was in excess of this figure at 99 μg/m according to government monitors. Even a reduction from the W.H.O. recommended limit of 70μg/m to 20μg/m would result in a 15% decrease in premature deaths.


Low air quality’s affects are nefarious. Due to the nature of the particulate floating around on bad air days, your body is susceptible in surprising ways. Contrary to common belief, the cardiovascular system is most compromised by low air quality resulting in the largest proportion of premature deaths. Poor air quality is also linked with chronic respiratory conditions including asthma, athlete’s asthma and pneumonia.

More frightening yet are the effects of sunshine on air quality. UV radiation has the unique ability to excite bad air, breaking up organic and inorganic PM10 and PM2.5 compounds resulting in the release of additional free radicals. These can exacerbate the issue of bad air quality despite the fact that a little blue sky makes the air seem cleaner.

As intimidating as air pollution may be, you can be proactive in working around it. There are plenty of methods that can work to improve the air quality in your immediate sphere and actively improve your quality of life.

  • Use air filters in your home and work spaces. The idea here is simple. Clean up the spaces you most often spend your time. The average person sleeps generally 8 hours a night. This is a large amount of time that can be spent breathing clean air. On the market are a number of air filters with prices ranging from a few hundred RMB to tens of thousands of RMB.

  • Heed API warnings. There are smartphone apps that regularly give updates on your area’s air quality. There are web sites that also do the same thing. If the air is nasty out, limit your time exercising in such environments and relax in a space where you know the air is clean.

  • If you’ve got to leave your sphere of clean air. Use a mask. We stand by Respro products as we’ve worked directly with the company to insure all our masks come with their highest rated filter.


Any more there are dozens of masks on the market that serve a number of uses. Respro is designed to fit comfortably, even during active exercise. Not to mention they’re lab-tested and surpassed requirements for N99 (American), P3 (European) and PM0.3 standards. Few other masks on the market can boast being tested as rigorously and oftentimes cheap alternatives will make bold claims only to the detriment of the user. It’s no fun having to wear a mask to live out your life, but if you’ve got to do it you might as well wear the right one.

We firmly believe that like the rainy weather, you can get around the bad air and live your life despite it. It takes a little extra preparation and precaution, but this is far more valuable than falling victim to circumstance. So please, in consideration of your health and well-being, don’t let the past few days’ “good” air fool you. Take the right steps to prevent the adverse effects of air pollution today.

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