The picture provided by otgonbayar from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, says a thousand words:
According to Tumenbayasgalan, another reader of our blog:
In our capital city Ulaanbaatar we have heavy air pollution during November-March period as a result of traditional Mongolian houses (yourts) burn raw coal for their daily use such as heating, cooking, etc. We also have heavy traffic jam and blowing dust during springtime that contributes to air pollution. Air quality index has been recorded as high as 279 compared to WHO ‘s recommended index 0-20.
A recent Forbes article by William Pentland highlighted:
In December 1952, the Great Smog that settled over the city of London for four deadly days claimed the lives of more than 4,000 people that winter. In 1948, a similar soot-filled cloud was responsible for dozens of deaths in Donora, Pennsylvania.
Make no mistake about it: dirty air is dangerous to breath.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency explains why:
Particle pollution – especially fine particles – contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can get deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems. Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including [aggravated asthma, chronic bronchitis, irregular heartbeat and premature death in people with heart or lung disease] . . . People with heart or lung diseases, children and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure. However, even if you are healthy, you may experience temporary symptoms from exposure to elevated levels of particle pollution.
As facemask becomes a must have during the winter month, some well connected residences of Ulaanbaatar started to discover the advantage of Totobobo: high tech protection, comfort , easy to clean and fit everybody including children and adult.