The University of Iowa

Tagged with "pollution"

polluted days in beijing

All the Smog We Cannot See

Part I. Tell Me How I’m Supposed to Breathe in This Air The first thing I check every morning is the U.S. Embassy’s AQI (Air Quality Index). This Tuesday, the AQI reads “beyond index” (>500 AQI), which is a diplomatic way of saying “deathly.” The annoying lump in my throat and its companion “Beijing cough” reappears. When I look outside, I wonder if I have been transported back to the 1950s to London’s Smog Menace when couples kissed with their masks on and people relied on the blind to lead them home. I can’t help but question why I chose to study here, a decision that will probably cost me in life expectancy.