Everything you wish you didn’t know about air pollution in China

Finally! I just discovered a great site by a family doctor in Beijing (close enough!) with all the info you need — like what to do — about the appalling infuriating horrifying confounding oppressive chewable inexcusable damnable lethal ghastly hideous depressing atrocious illiberal obscene foul nose-burning abominable face-coating heinous lì hai monstrous odious execrable unholy [they-don’t-make-strong-enough-negative-descriptors] air pollution. For example:

Call me a pampered whiny rich foreigner if you want, I don’t care; I want to liiiiiive!

And please, by all means, you’re welcome to add adjectives to my list (but keep it PG!). Sometimes it just feels good to vent to get it off your chest, especially since you can’t vent to get it out of your chest.

I’ll add a photo later if I can bring myself to take one (through tears, no doubt).

Other posts about Tianjin’s indecent pollution:

13 thoughts on “Everything you wish you didn’t know about air pollution in China”

  1. *sigh*… depressing. I wonder how much of my life is shortened by living in TJ for a year. Maybe I should just be lame and wear a mask all day long. Is TJ still the 3rd most polluted city in the world?

    1. yeah, plus different kinds of pollution are worse in different areas, too. I’ve heard that the air is particularly bad near the major coal producing areas, but in other provinces the water is supposedly worse. When my students bring up an example of a polluted place in China they often mention XJ out west. We’ve all heard of “c@ncer villages”, right?

      Tianjin definitely isn’t the worst. But even though we know that and you get used to seeing and smelling the smog when you step outside, anytime I actually stop to think about it it’s still amazing.

  2. ha, well, we’ve never been 100% convinced. But we’ve also always planned to move out of Tianjin, so hopefully that will help (TJ isn’t the worst, but it’s still worse than average for air pollution). Hopefully we’ll end up somewhere more human-friendly. and we’re taking measures in the meantime.

  3. I just want to say thank you for such an informative and entertaining website. My husband has just been offered a job in Tianjin and Beijing but after reading about the air pollution and your (quite humourous if not scary) descriptions of it we’ve declined the offer! Thank you once again.

    1. Thanks! Glad it’s helpful. About the air pollution… it’s not that bad every day, but it is unbelievably bad many days, and usually worse than people think when they see it. The last three or four days have maxed out the pollution index at 500, actually, but before that we had a month or more where the worse days were (my guess) not above 300. All that said, we do choose to live here.

      Since you’re dealing with a job offer, a recent, short post from China Law Blog, and especially this comment, speaks directly to your situation. I’d hate to scare anyone off of China, but at the same time, I’m not apologizing for helping people make informed decisions.

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