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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Smog has air purifiers flying off the shelves (3)

By  He Wei and Xing Yu  (China Daily)

08:38, December 07, 2011

Similarly, Gome Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd, a major rival of Suning, saw air purifier and humidifier sales grow leap by 30 percent, said He Yangqing, Gome's public relations director.

In small brick-and-mortar stores, it's the same story.

Wang Mei, who works in a drugstore in Beijing, said more people have come in to buy masks, even though the shop usually sees demand soar only when sandstorms hit.

Tan Mingqi, a physician and chief of the respiratory department at Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang, said common masks and air purifiers help prevent users from inhaling dust. But it's equally important to clean them, he said.

"Most families neglect to clean the purifiers. The filter is full of bacteria within just a few days. This makes the air quality even worse and makes it easier to develop respiratory diseases," he said.

Poor air quality has become a major issue in China. Beijing has been hit by heavy smog recently. The weaker winds and elevated humidity are not conducive to dispersing atmospheric pollutants, said the city's environmental protection bureau.

China uses a standard of particulate matter smaller than 10 micrometers (PM10) to measure air quality, but the public has urged authorities to adopt the stricter PM2.5 standard, which measures finer matter that is considered more hazardous to health because it can go deeper into the lungs.

Liu Ce in Shenyang contributed to this story.


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