Air Pollution in Winter

December 21, 2016

“The air in some chinese cities is so polluted that breathing it does as much damage to the lungs as smoking 40 cigarettes a day”.

 

 

Air safety here in China is one of the biggest problems. You may have noticed that air in winter is always more polluted than any other seasons of the year. More and more people have already experienced hazy days in different cities in China and they also have been reported to get respiratory diseases due to the exposure to polluted air. Usually the exact reasons behind this phenomenon are unknown. To better understand how air pollutants harm our health, we should first acquire the knowledge on what they are and where they come from.

 

 

Monsoon

 

Monsoon in summer often blows from southeast of China and the East Sea which is clean and less polluted. As a result, very few pollutants are carried by the wind. This just goes to the opposite way in winter. Monsoon in winter is mostly from northwest of China, where there are many heavy industries and power plants located. Monsoon in winter pick up various pollutants including particles, fume, nitrides, sulfides, all of which are very toxic and aggravate the air pollution.

 

 

 
Coal combustion

 

In winter, huge amount of energy is required to heat the houses and offices. Coal combustion is the main source from where the energy comes from. China is the world’s largest consumer of coal, more than the United States, the European Union and Japan combined. Numerous toxic pollutants and gases will be emitted out from the coal combustion including PM2.5, PM10, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and more.

 

 

 

Low humidity level

 

Low humidity level is another important factor that is responsible for the lingering hazy days. Air in winter is drier than summer. Particles like PM2.5 and PM10 could combine with the vapor and then settle down soon to the ground level. But in winter, due to the dry air, there is not too much vapor in the air for the particles to attach, resulting in these particles travelling to very long distance before settling down. Particles suspended in the air will mix with different kind of other pollutants like virus, bacteria and other toxins.

Finally, the toxic compound will be breathed into our body and the very tiny ones down to 2.5um will even penetrate the blood vessel and mix with our blood. Humidity level could also partially account for the fact that south China is less polluted than north China.

 

 

 

Vehicle exhaust

 

Due to the low temperature in winter, the fuel efficiency in winter is lower than summer, leading to more fuel is consumed for the mileage. More fuel consumption will in turn increase the vehicle exhaust and polluted the air. The incomplete combustion of fuel will also produce more toxic pollutants like carbon monoxide and nitric oxide. Car ownership of China keeps growing and is now only second to US. Especially in many big cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, the vehicle exhaust has now been a prominent issue facing the authorities.Apart from the traffic jam that is often blamed, the fast increasing of car ownership will tax the environment also.

 

 

To conclude, winter season brings more water and air problems. This issue cannot be solved easily so, families and individuals must take some precaution to ensure healthy living throughout winter. Below you can find some free solutions and tips that it can help you. For example:

  • Keep your home dry: control humidity levels and fix anything that causes dampness and allows mold to grow.

  • Keep pollutants out. Put a large floor mat in front of the door. People will bring in different kinds of pollutants and dirt on their shoes. A door mat reduces the amount of dirt, pesticides, and other pollutants from getting into your home.

  • Do ventilation properly. It is suggested to do the ventilation when there is no pollution outside, like lunchtime, or the time after rains. Ventilation in the early morning or rush hours are not recommended as the pollution most serious in a day.

 

Apart from these advices, there are also some air solutions that require quite a big investment but it will be very effective to protect you against the air pollutants. For this kind of options you can have a look in our website where you will find all the information you need to.

 

 

Vogmasks are a particular practical outdoor solution, which you can bring everywhere with you. Our range of indoor air filters is also quite extensive, with different possibilities according to your expectations and requirements.

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