Tailing Off

Air pollution in Beijing China :

Air pollution in China is a major problem. Within a month the summer rains will dissipate and smog will return.

Pollution is on my mind because I am editing a medical article from Beijing. It’s brilliant, but there is plenty of Chinglish. A recent study was conducted in 26 Chinese studies, analyzing the links between “particulate matter air pollution” and “anxiety.” Pollution was measured by the indexes that are updated hourly, and anxiety was measured by rates of hospital admittance for anxiety.

There was a strong association, with anxiety peaking 5 days after the peak pollution dates. I guess that’s how long it takes for the particles to move from the lungs to the brain, where they bury themselves into gray matter. Females were more sensitive to pollution than males. No surprise there.


On the plus side, I would imagine that air pollution in Chinese cities would slowly diminish. Subway systems are being seriously expanded, and Chengdu has gone from two lines to many in just a few years.

Also, the construction of these giant apartment buildings seems to be tapering off. There are signs of overbuilding, and the exurbs often are ringed with empty apartment complexes. Will they stand empty forever or whill they fill up with people? Maybe the authorities are expecting even more country people to migrate to cities.

Hopefully, most first- and second-tier cities in China will soon be finished products, on autopilot, without the sounds of cranes and jackhammers, and without pulverized concrete and metal particles floating around.

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