How much is your respiratory health worth to you? Surely, more than 1 yuan.
On Monday, bags of fresh air went on sale at a shopping mall in Xi’an for the low, low, price of just 1 RMB. It’s not clear where exactly the “fresh air” was taken from, but odds are that it had to be from a place with better air quality than Xi’an.
According to Tencent, the PM2.5 in the air in Xi’an that day was 65 micrograms per cubic meter, well above the WHO safety standard of 25 micrograms, but still labeled by China as “moderate” air pollution. Xi’an is one of many large Chinese cities that suffers from chronic smog problems, particularly in the winter.
Which isn’t good news for residents as a recent study found that breathing in China’s smog could shorten your life expectancy by at least 25 months. Another study this year found that over 4 million Chinese residents had been diagnosed with cancer in 2015, while another 3 million had died from it. Since 2010, cancer has been the leading cause of death in China with lung cancer accounting for the highest number of deaths.
A few innovative entrepreneurs have looked to make some cash out of this alarming health trend by selling clean air to desperate city dwellers, with some even marketing the good stuff from Canada and Australia at a premium price.
In this case, the Xi’an shopping mall store decided not to inflate their prices in an effort to draw attention to protecting the environment and the air we breathe.
[Images via Tencent]