A young couple, Ms. Lu and Mr. Li, hold hands during a walk through Beijing's Olympic Park. "I'm pretty sad about this. It's worse and worse", explains Li. "I think the pollution is bad for our health. The PM2.5 damages our lungs [but] we don't have any choice", he laments. "I left China two and half years ago. Then it wasn't so bad. I've been abroad. I know what's good [air] and what's bad. Young people care more than old people. We have more information. We know how bad it is." PM2.5 reading - 218 - Very Unhealthy
A young couple, Ms. Lu and Mr. Li, hold hands during a walk through Beijing’s Olympic Park. “I’m pretty sad about this. It’s worse and worse”, explains Li. “I think the pollution is bad for our health. The PM2.5 damages our lungs [but] we don’t have any choice”, he laments. “I left China two and half years ago. Then it wasn’t so bad. I’ve been abroad. I know what’s good [air] and what’s bad. Young people care more than old people. We have more information. We know how bad it is.” PM2.5 reading – 218 – Very Unhealthy

Liu (33), a sharply-dressed office worker in central Beijing. "I started to use the mask 3 years ago. Of course I am worried about the pollution. I bought them for everyone in my family and forced them to wear it." PM2.5 reading - 170 - Unhealthy
Liu (33), a sharply-dressed office worker in central Beijing. “I started to use the mask 3 years ago. Of course I am worried about the pollution. I bought them for everyone in my family and forced them to wear it.” PM2.5 reading – 170 – Unhealthy

Ms. Zeng (21), a student, burns incense while making wishes at a shrine inside Beijing's Lama Temple. "I think the weather is bad. I started using the mask about one year ago because of the pollution." PM2.5 reading - 261 - Very Unhealthy
Ms. Zeng (21), a student, burns incense while making wishes at a shrine inside Beijing’s Lama Temple. “I think the weather is bad. I started using the mask about one year ago because of the pollution.” PM2.5 reading – 261 – Very Unhealthy

Qi (name changed), a 13-year old middle school student, wears an advanced air filtration mask in central Beijing. "I'm more concerned about the pollution than my parents. Since 2012, my parents told me to stay inside more. I asked my parents to buy this for me. My classmates think I'm strange." PM2.5 reading - 188 - Unhealthy
Qi (name changed), a 13-year old middle school student, wears an advanced air filtration mask in central Beijing. “I’m more concerned about the pollution than my parents. Since 2012, my parents told me to stay inside more. I asked my parents to buy this for me. My classmates think I’m strange.” PM2.5 reading – 188 – Unhealthy

A tourist (name withheld) from Heilongjiang province, in north-west China, visits the Olympic green in central Beijing. "I knew from TV that the air quality is bad in Beijing, so I bought it before I came here", she says. " In Heilongjiang, the air is better than here but in the [city] downtown area it's similar". PM2.5 reading - 218 - Very Unhealthy
A tourist (name withheld) from Heilongjiang province, in north-west China, visits the Olympic green in central Beijing. “I knew from TV that the air quality is bad in Beijing, so I bought it before I came here”, she says. ” In Heilongjiang, the air is better than here but in the [city] downtown area it’s similar”. PM2.5 reading – 218 – Very Unhealthy

A young girl pauses for a moment while riding her bike through Beijing's Ditan Park. PM2.5 reading - 261 - Very Unhealthy
A young girl pauses for a moment while riding her bike through Beijing’s Ditan Park. PM2.5 reading – 261 – Very Unhealthy

A young boy stands with his mother at a bus stop in the west of Beijing. As well as the elderly, children are particularly susceptible to the adverse health effects of air pollution.Many young children can now be seen on the streets of Beijing wearing masks, in an effort by their families to protect them. PM2.5 reading - 204 - Very Unhealthy
A young boy stands with his mother at a bus stop in the west of Beijing. As well as the elderly, children are particularly susceptible to the adverse health effects of air pollution.Many young children can now be seen on the streets of Beijing wearing masks, in an effort by their families to protect them. PM2.5 reading – 204 – Very Unhealthy

Mr. Liu (56) and Mrs. Wang (54), a married couple in Beijing, sit on a bench in the capital's Ditan Park. Their unique pollution masks are designed to filter air breathed through the nose, with exhalation then from the mouth. They are one of the new types of masks now appearing as alternatives to the traditional face mask. "We started using these one month ago", explains Mr. Liu. "This one is more comfortable. It filters out 95% of the pollution." PM2.5 reading - 367 - Hazardous
Mr. Liu (56) and Mrs. Wang (54), a married couple in Beijing, sit on a bench in the capital’s Ditan Park. Their unique pollution masks are designed to filter air breathed through the nose, with exhalation then from the mouth. They are one of the new types of masks now appearing as alternatives to the traditional face mask. “We started using these one month ago”, explains Mr. Liu. “This one is more comfortable. It filters out 95% of the pollution.” PM2.5 reading – 367 – Hazardous

Ms. Liu (30) pauses during a walk through one of Beijing's traditional hutong neighbourhoods. "Of course I worry about the pollution", she says. "I don't have a good stomach or throat, so I pay attention to the pollution. I think this issues should of been addressed year ago." PM2.5 reading - 107 - Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Ms. Liu (30) pauses during a walk through one of Beijing’s traditional hutong neighbourhoods. “Of course I worry about the pollution”, she says. “I don’t have a good stomach or throat, so I pay attention to the pollution. I think this issues should of been addressed year ago.” PM2.5 reading – 107 – Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

In Beijing's TianTan Park, a woman plays with a Jianzi, a traditional Chinese game which requires the participants to keep it in the air by kicking. PM2.5 reading - 89 - Moderate
In Beijing’s TianTan Park, a woman plays with a Jianzi, a traditional Chinese game which requires the participants to keep it in the air by kicking. PM2.5 reading – 89 – Moderate

An elderly man performs to Tai Chi in Beijing's TianTan Park. The elderly and young are some of the most susceptible to the effects of air pollution, however this does not deter hundreds of the city's elderly residents who go to the parks everyday to socialise and exercise, no matter what the air quality. PM2.5 reading - 89 - Moderate
An elderly man performs to Tai Chi in Beijing’s TianTan Park. The elderly and young are some of the most susceptible to the effects of air pollution, however this does not deter hundreds of the city’s elderly residents who go to the parks everyday to socialise and exercise, no matter what the air quality. PM2.5 reading – 89 – Moderate

Ms. Pan (left) and Ms. Zhu (right) are co-workers in an Environmental Landscape Design company in Beijing. "The weather is too bad"' explains Ms. Pan. "It's really uncomfortable. I can already feel the cough and headaches. In my professional area, we discuss [this issue] a lot. The air is getting worse and worse." PM2.5 reading - 196 - Unhealthy
Ms. Pan (left) and Ms. Zhu (right) are co-workers in an Environmental Landscape Design company in Beijing. “The weather is too bad”‘ explains Ms. Pan. “It’s really uncomfortable. I can already feel the cough and headaches. In my professional area, we discuss [this issue] a lot. The air is getting worse and worse.” PM2.5 reading – 196 – Unhealthy

Students Liu (21), Xu (22) and Han (21) stand near the Olympic Swimming Center during a visit to Beijing from southern China. "We never wore a mask before. After we arrived in Beijing we bought it", explains Liu. "The air quality is not good", continues Xu. "More and more people pay attention to this. We should pay more attention to this problem. Every person has to start the change."  PM2.5 reading - 218 - Very Unhealthy
Students Liu (21), Xu (22) and Han (21) stand near the Olympic Swimming Center during a visit to Beijing from southern China. “We never wore a mask before. After we arrived in Beijing we bought it”, explains Liu. “The air quality is not good”, continues Xu. “More and more people pay attention to this. We should pay more attention to this problem. Every person has to start the change.” PM2.5 reading – 218 – Very Unhealthy

Mrs. Huang (40), a life long Beijing resident. "About 4-5 years ago I started using masks. I don't feel comfortable in my lungs.", she explains. "Of course there's been a big change in the air. Since the 1980's there were sandstorms. Then it got better. Around 2000, industry got more and more and the air got bad." PM2.5 reading - 188 - Unhealthy
Mrs. Huang (40), a life long Beijing resident. “About 4-5 years ago I started using masks. I don’t feel comfortable in my lungs.”, she explains. “Of course there’s been a big change in the air. Since the 1980’s there were sandstorms. Then it got better. Around 2000, industry got more and more and the air got bad.” PM2.5 reading – 188 – Unhealthy

A couple, Ms. Hu (27) and Mr. Teng (27), stand underneath a propaganda poster depicting an idyllic Beijing life, in the city's Xidan shopping district. PM2.5 reading - 102 - Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
A couple, Ms. Hu (27) and Mr. Teng (27), stand underneath a propaganda poster depicting an idyllic Beijing life, in the city’s Xidan shopping district. PM2.5 reading – 102 – Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

Ren (27), a student and Beijing resident, stands in the cities modern CBD area. "I started using the mask last year when the pollution got bad. I didn't pay much attention before that", he explains. "I don't like wearing it but I have to. I watched the [Chai Jing] documentary many times. I shared it with everyone. Now, I pay attention to our behaviour. The documentary inspired me. The future? It's hard to get the environment back. I'm thinking about emigrating." PM2.5 reading - 184 - Unhealthy
Ren (27), a student and Beijing resident, stands in the cities modern CBD area. “I started using the mask last year when the pollution got bad. I didn’t pay much attention before that”, he explains. “I don’t like wearing it but I have to. I watched the [Chai Jing] documentary many times. I shared it with everyone. Now, I pay attention to our behaviour. The documentary inspired me. The future? It’s hard to get the environment back. I’m thinking about emigrating.” PM2.5 reading – 184 – Unhealthy

Ms. Wang (37), an office worker in Beijing, wears a distinctive blue mask that she uses for skiing and doubles in purpose to protect her from air pollution. PM2.5 reading - 170 - Unhealthy
Ms. Wang (37), an office worker in Beijing, wears a distinctive blue mask that she uses for skiing and doubles in purpose to protect her from air pollution. PM2.5 reading – 170 – Unhealthy

Li (23), a sales worker from Hebei Province stands on the platform in Beijing's subway system. Many residents now not only wear the masks outdoors but also in indoor public spaces and on public transportation. "The pollution is too much. I have worn [the mask] since 2013. My home city, Shijiazhuang, is more polluted!" PM2.5 reading - 191 - Unhealthy
Li (23), a sales worker from Hebei Province stands on the platform in Beijing’s subway system. Many residents now not only wear the masks outdoors but also in indoor public spaces and on public transportation. “The pollution is too much. I have worn [the mask] since 2013. My home city, Shijiazhuang, is more polluted!” PM2.5 reading – 191 – Unhealthy

Li, a 17-year old beautician from Shandong province, stands in Beijing's Xidan shopping district. "I study here in Beijing. The air is bad"' she says. "Two years ago I started wearing [the mask]. It helps protect my skin. There are too many people here in China which has ruined the environment."  PM2.5 reading - 102 - Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Li, a 17-year old beautician from Shandong province, stands in Beijing’s Xidan shopping district. “I study here in Beijing. The air is bad”‘ she says. “Two years ago I started wearing [the mask]. It helps protect my skin. There are too many people here in China which has ruined the environment.” PM2.5 reading – 102 – Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

Xue (29), an engineer visiting Beijing's Lama Temple. "Of course it's not comfortable but we have to put it [the mask] on. I wore it earlier than most. I started about 4 years ago. I cough when I smell the dust." PM2.5 reading - 200 - Unhealthy
Xue (29), an engineer visiting Beijing’s Lama Temple. “Of course it’s not comfortable but we have to put it [the mask] on. I wore it earlier than most. I started about 4 years ago. I cough when I smell the dust.” PM2.5 reading – 200 – Unhealthy

An elderly man in a wheelchair watches a fellow Beijinger draw Chinese characters with water into the dusty pavement. PM2.5 reading - 367 - Hazardous
An elderly man in a wheelchair watches a fellow Beijinger draw Chinese characters with water into the dusty pavement. PM2.5 reading – 367 – Hazardous

Drolmaj, an editor with a local publishing company, during her morning walk in central Beijing. "The pollution makes me sad. I feel sad to live here. When I first came here there was blue sky and white clouds. It's a big problem here." PM2.5 reading - 365 - Hazardous
Drolmaj, an editor with a local publishing company, during her morning walk in central Beijing. “The pollution makes me sad. I feel sad to live here. When I first came here there was blue sky and white clouds. It’s a big problem here.” PM2.5 reading – 365 – Hazardous

Mrs. Liu sits with her daughter in a small garden outside of her office in the west of Beijing. "I want to protect my daughter. She's young. She isn't able to protect herself", she explains as to why she makes her daughter wear a mask. "I'm sure the PM2.5 is bad for people's health. I'm thinking of sending her overseas. I think it will take a long time to clear the air. I don't want my daughter to have to live with this situation." PM2.5 reading - 204 - Very Unhealthy
Mrs. Liu sits with her daughter in a small garden outside of her office in the west of Beijing. “I want to protect my daughter. She’s young. She isn’t able to protect herself”, she explains as to why she makes her daughter wear a mask. “I’m sure the PM2.5 is bad for people’s health. I’m thinking of sending her overseas. I think it will take a long time to clear the air. I don’t want my daughter to have to live with this situation.” PM2.5 reading – 204 – Very Unhealthy

Miss Song (30), from Dongbei Province, stands near an ornate gate in Beijing's Ditan Park. "It's very dirty here. I started using the mask last year. From the year before last, China started to get this pollution. Pollution was a very new word for me. At that time, we started to know more about "2.5". My family don't wear masks. I suggested they use them but they didn't do it." - PM2.5 reading - 365 - Hazardous
Miss Song (30), from Dongbei Province, stands near an ornate gate in Beijing’s Ditan Park. “It’s very dirty here. I started using the mask last year. From the year before last, China started to get this pollution. Pollution was a very new word for me. At that time, we started to know more about “2.5”. My family don’t wear masks. I suggested they use them but they didn’t do it.” – PM2.5 reading – 365 – Hazardous

Mrs. Zhang (62), a retiree in Beijing, stands near a wall in the capital's Ditan Park. "Last year I bought a professional mask because I had a bad throat. The pollution made it worse. I think they are a bit strange looking. These past two years I've been wearing them. During the polluted days I definitely wear them. During the spring festival the pollution was really bad. I'm really scared of the pollution." PM2.5 reading - 365 - Hazardous
Mrs. Zhang (62), a retiree in Beijing, stands near a wall in the capital’s Ditan Park. “Last year I bought a professional mask because I had a bad throat. The pollution made it worse. I think they are a bit strange looking. These past two years I’ve been wearing them. During the polluted days I definitely wear them. During the spring festival the pollution was really bad. I’m really scared of the pollution.” PM2.5 reading – 365 – Hazardous

Zhao (25), an office worker, stands on a bridge above a busy highway in the centre of Beijing. PM2.5 reading - 223 - Very Unhealthy
Zhao (25), an office worker, stands on a bridge above a busy highway in the centre of Beijing. PM2.5 reading – 223 – Very Unhealthy

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