Totobobo in TimeOut Beijing

Beijing air and air filter mask

That’s the question that Beijing TimeOut set off to find out..

“There are many wonderful things about Beijing, but the air isn’t one of them. Even on a supposedly blue-sky day, air-quality index (AQI) readings for particulate matter (PM) of 2.5 micrometres – those small enough to get into the bloodstream and do damage to the respiratory system – can be in the hundreds. On really bad days, the AQI pushes past the 500 limit; a level that’s officially ‘hazardous’ or ‘beyond index’, but now known locally (thanks to a mischievous tweet from the US Embassy) as ‘crazy bad’.”

Although the risk is not as high as some people may think, there are certain groups of people should take note and avoid going out on “bad air day”, these includes children (especially infant and toddlers), patients with asthma or chronic coughs, or people with pre-conditions that make them susceptible heart attack or stroke.

When it comes to air filter mask for protection, this is what Dr Richard Saint Cyr, a family medicine doctor at Beijing United Family Hospital said:

‘Don’t just get a surgical mask,’ says Dr Saint Cyr. ‘The best ones are rated N95, which literally means 95 percent of air particles smaller than PM0.3 are filtered out. The Respro cycling masks work really well, but personally I like the Totobobo masks.’

Read more at TimeOut Beijing