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Do you travel with an air mask (N95) when you go to China?

Do you travel with an air mask (N95) when you go to China?

Old Jan 20th, 2014, 08:58 AM
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Do you travel with an air mask (N95) when you go to China?

We are heading to Beijing in late March/early April and I am trying to decide if we should bring air filtration masks with us when we go. I have done research on which ones to buy and feel secure in that piece. Just wondering if we need them and if they are a must. What did you do?
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 02:42 PM
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The pollution was not so bad when I was there as it is now. If I were going now, I would definitely bring an air mask with me.
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Old Jan 20th, 2014, 03:23 PM
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no
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Old Jan 21st, 2014, 04:50 AM
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Never. Blue skies this week and yesterday excellent air according to the US embassy in Beijing. but it changes all the time.
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Old Jan 21st, 2014, 04:55 AM
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Don't drag them along... buy, if needed, when you arrive.
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Old Jan 21st, 2014, 05:14 AM
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Thanks everyone. I am not looking for medical advice. Fortunately, I have a physician who has provided that for us. I am just looking for anecdotal information to understand what others have done/are doing. I have read quite a bit about the air quality and have the air quality app on my phone. So, I am familiar with the issues. While I understand the weather is a major determiner as to how bad the smog might be, I also understand that coal burning for heat is a major contributor to the smog itself. It was my understanding that for many, heat is turned off mid-March reducing the amount of smog somewhat. Maybe I misunderstood that.

Thanks so much for the information.
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Old Jan 21st, 2014, 05:22 AM
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The heat might be turned off in mid March, but that is the month that the sand might begin blowing in from the Gobi Desert causing more particulates in the air. This is just a possibility, but still...When I went 5 years ago I did not take a mask, but if I were going today I would.
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Old Jan 21st, 2014, 07:41 AM
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shelleyk brought up a good point. I was there once in mid March, the lake at the summer palace was still frozen. The sand was blowing so hard I bought a gauzy see-through scarf and wrapped my whole head as the particles were in my hair, ears, nose, etc., and wore a warm hat over it.
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Old Jan 21st, 2014, 10:45 AM
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> I am not looking for medical advice.

Yes, you are. You're looking to decide whether you should bring and use a medical appliance based on what others have done.

Responses like this:

> Never. Blue skies this week and yesterday excellent air according to the US embassy in Beijing. but it changes all the time.

devoid of sense, are of themselves sufficient demonstration what a bad idea this is. In the last week the index has been off the scale: over 500.

1.2 million people are thought to have died early in 2010 alone from China's bad air, which is, of course, now significantly worse than it was then.'Blue sky' days still have problems with the most damaging micro-particles (pm2.5s). Of course, visitors spending only a few days in China (it's not just Beijing) are at much lower risk than those who have to live there. But the everyday lot for much of the year for visitors to Beijing will be many lungfuls daily of assorted gasses and particles best not breathed, some with long term effects, and corresponding wheezy chests, coughs, runny noses, and thick heads.

Beijing has always required precautions, such as a greater attention to cleanliness, more washing of hands, careful selection of hot foods, avoiding tap water, etc. with the alternative a few days' holiday-making lost to moving between bed and bathroom only. Now it's just advisable to carry a proper mask (they weigh almost nothing) and use it, properly fitted, whenever reports suggest or discomfort is felt.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 06:09 AM
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"...1.2 million people are thought to have died early in 2010 alone from China's bad air, ..."
What is your source?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 08:52 AM
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1.2 million deaths.

All it takes is a quick search.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/02/wo...-in-china.html
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 02:18 PM
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I always bring face masks with me to any third world countries I visit--Vietnam, India, China, etc. Don't want to inhale exhausts and fumes and dirts from vehicles, not just atmosphere pollution. In China, you'll see many people wear them too. I usually get medical masks worn by doctors and nurses, but I if I lose them while walking on the street, it's easy to hop into any knick knack store and buy another. They make them in cloth too in those countries, so they're washable.

As a further precaution, rinse your nose out with a nasal spray and clean the nostrils with Q-Tip (yucky black at the end of the day). Sorry for the gross description. These precautions help me from getting respirtaory infection in those countries.
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Old Feb 25th, 2014, 10:01 AM
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I think you'd better bring one since you will visit beijing.
Last year I stayed in Chengdu for 3 weeks. It was fine.

Since someone brought up 'third world countries', last year on our way back from China to US, we used different airlines (air china, Sichuan air, and United) via Shanghai airport and Hong Kong airport, our destination was EWR. Judged by airport and ground transportation quality, airport surcharge (EWR charges $5 for luggage cart. LOL), I am not sure US is the first world country, or 3rd world country.
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Old Feb 25th, 2014, 12:31 PM
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Probably will go nowhere, but interesting:

http://www.salon.com/2014/02/25/chin...rce=newsletter
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Old Feb 25th, 2014, 10:41 PM
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the air condition will be bad in winter of beijing, there is no need to buy a air mask even in winter, but better stay home when beijing screw by bad weather
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Old Feb 25th, 2014, 10:57 PM
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Hmm...
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...877173138.html
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Old Feb 25th, 2014, 11:18 PM
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We are in Thailand now. The story Kja posted has been all over the news. The pictures look ghastly. They are erecting these bubbles over school playgrounds and no one is going outside. They did say that this should get better later this week.
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 11:59 AM
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http://www.theguardian.com/travel/20...ution-policies
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Old Mar 19th, 2014, 04:58 PM
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Fascinating - thanks for posting, Peter!

I'm not sure compensation for a marred experience would make me fell better about the health issues, but maybe I'm not understanding the coverage.
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Old Jul 8th, 2014, 05:11 AM
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http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2...d=blog_flyover
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