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Beijing Foreign Studies University
39.95249619, 116.30249879
Topic Pollution

A big concern to me, before going to Beijing, was the pollution. That reminds me a lot of the "single story" we have about people or places. I did not know a lot about China, but in the media I have often heard bad things about the pollution in China. Without questioning that it is a big deal in China. Before going there I downloaded an App to be able to check the level of fine dust and I bought myself masks to wear during polluted days.
When I arrived I saw that the leaves of the trees looked grey and it seemed to be dusty. But I did not feel uncomfortable breathing and I never got a headache, although I know some people who had reactions like that, probably because of the air.
If it looked very dusty outside, I used to wear my mask. But as the air enters to the rooms too, I am not sure if it is that effective wearing a mask only outside.
Nevertheless I was very surprised by the winter in Beijing. I have talked to different people and they say that the pollution is usually worse in winter compared to the summer. They told me that the winter I spent there, was a very good winter. We had blue sky and sunshine almost every day. The people I talked to were surprised too by the good air-quality that winter. In summer it wasn't that good any more, but I got used to it. I think the reaction to the pollution depends on each person. Some get more affected by it than others. I haven't gotten my lungs checked after being there, so I cannot tell anything about the medical impacts.

What affected me more was the dry air in winter. I don't get colds easily, but in Beijing I had many of them during the year. It could also have many other reasons. That doesn't mean I am sure it was because of the dry air.

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