Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Particles Inside: Time to Put on a Face Mask at the Gym

Years ago when I worked out at a gym in Shanghai, I occasionally wondered about the gym's air quality. I didn't notice anything obviously wrong, but there were still reasons to question whether they were using an effective air filtration system.

Today Benjamin Carlson, who is based in Beijing, checked the air inside one gym and . . .

That is pretty bad air. I understand Carlson's choice to wear a mask. Although there is reason to believe exercising in some types of pollution without a mask is better than not exercising at all, clean air is better (not even going to bother to source the last claim). Despite the logic, there is still something extra depressing about feeling compelled to wear a mask indoors.

The mobile air monitor Carlson is holding appears to be a Laser Egg made by Origins Technology. Paul Bischoff reported on the device's release and the technology inside it last year for Tech in Asia:
As the particles are pulled in by a fan, they pass in front of a laser. The laser refracts onto a photo sensor. This allows the device to instantly work out the size and number of particles in the air. These types of devices typically cost anywhere from US$500 to US$10,000, but Origins claims to use the same technology in Laser Egg at a fracion of the cost.
I have been tempted to buy one myself. I wonder how many times as I have traveled across the China it would have convinced me to go to sleep wearing a mask.

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