Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Umbrellas More Common Than Face Masks on a Rainless and Smoggy Day in Changsha

Similar to what I found earlier this year in Chongqing, one thing that remains mostly the same in Changsha since previous visits is the air pollution. Today was no exception, and Changsha had some of its most polluted air for recent days.

a smoggy view of Furong Middle Road in Changsha

According to U.S. standards, the air quality in terms of a 24 hour exposure to the smallest particles was in the "very unhealthy" category. I saw few people wearing face masks, and those I did see were clearly not the types effective at filtering harmful pollutants.

Despite the smog, the sun at times did its best on a rainless and humid day to reach humanity. So far more than people wearing face masks, I saw people employing commonly used methods in China to avoid tanning.

two young women holding sun umbrellas walking down a street in Changsha

man blocking the sun from his face with a bag

woman holding an umbrella walking by a construction worker in Changsha

woman holding an umbrella at a street intersection in Changsha

Perhaps if these people knew the degree to which heavy smog blocks the radiation that causes tanning, they wouldn't have felt the need to take any extra precautions today.

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