China is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, but the number of tourists visiting China is declining, mainly because of China’s increasingly serious air pollution. Many cities regularly have hazy polluted air. Unfortunately, the rapid growth of China’s economy and industry in the past 40 years has led to an environmental catastrophe.

China Air Pollution Map

The above map shows that central, east and south China are the most often polluted areas, especially Beijing and Shanghai. Not surprisingly, this map closely corresponds to China’s population distribution. Furthermore, the smog is usually the worst in the winter. Air quality changes every day and can vary within a city so it’s best to consider average pollution rates over several months. In general, air quality is better in Shenzhen in Guangdong province and most cities in Yunnan province. The western part of China may look like the best past to live for clean air, but keep in mind population density and job availability is much lower.

 Air Quality Index (AQI)

AQI is a quantitative description of the air quality index. The major pollutants involved in the analysis including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), inhalable particles (PM10), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO). PM2.5 and PM10 are measured in micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3). AQI is divided into six levels in total, with Level one being the best and Level six being the worst.

 AQI and Health Implications:

AQIAir QualityHealth Implications
0–50ExcellentNo air pollution.
51–100GoodFew hypersensitive individuals should reduce the time for outdoor activities.
101–150Lightly PollutedSlight irritations may occur, children, and those who with breathing or heart problems should reduce outdoor exercise.
151–200Moderately PollutedIrritations may occur, and it may have an impact on healthy people’s heart and / or respiratory system, so all people should reduce the time for outdoor exercise.
201–300Heavily PollutedHealthy people will be noticeably affected. People with breathing or heart problems will lack exercise tolerance. Those patients, children and elders should remain indoors.
300Severely PollutedEven healthy people will lack endurance during activities. There may be strong irritations and symptoms. So all people should avoid outdoor activities.