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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Smog has air purifiers flying off the shelves

By  He Wei and Xing Yu  (China Daily)

08:23, December 07, 2011

Two Beijing pedestrians wear masks as they walk on the street on Tuesday to protect them from the heavy smog. Liu Hang / for China Daily

SHANGHAI / BEIJING - Concern that the thick smog lingering over North China may pose serious health threats has boosted sales of air cleaning products across the nation.

Demand for humidifiers, air purifiers, masks and related items has skyrocketed since November, and merchants are expecting it to keep growing this month.

360buy.com, a leading online vendor of mostly home appliances, saw a 50 percent month-on-month leap in air cleaning items in November, said Zhao Fanqi, the company's spokeswoman.

"The growth demonstrably outpaced that of other home appliances, and the rise is largely attributable to the recent air pollution," Zhao told China Daily.

Though the gloomy weather is spread over northern China, especially Beijing, "We see in general an equal surge in demand in different parts of the country, and we believe the numbers will continue to rise until the end of the year," she said.

Chang Zhonghua, a lab examiner at a pharmaceutical factory in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province, said she had to wear a mask every day because of the poor air quality.

"I also spread bamboo charcoal bags around my home and in my car to purify the air. I don't know whether this actually helps, or is simply a psychological comfort," she said.

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