By Chen Xiaoru, January 20, 2014
A member of the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political
Consultative Conference (CPPCC) proposed Monday that the local
government hand out free breathing masks that are capable of protecting
residents from the most dangerous air pollutants.
member Zhu Junbo said the government should give out the masks because
the city's air pollution problem isn't going away anytime soon.
Furthermore, it would allow the government to ensure that residents wore
masks capable of filtering PM 2.5, a type of air pollutant considered
"Many people don't buy qualified gauze masks that are designed to screen out PM 2.5," Zhu told the Global Times.
added that a doctor once told him that a mask he had bought was
incapable of filtering out PM 2.5. "The government could purchase the
right kind of masks, or select companies to produce qualified masks for
distribution," he said.
The government would have to give each
resident a supply of masks based on the number of days the city suffers
from serious air pollution.
Outdoor workers, young children and
traffic police officers should be among the privileged group to first
receive the free masks, Zhu said.
Zhu also suggested that the
government identify the major sources of PM 2.5, and then tax the
companies and individuals most responsible for the pollution. The money
could then be used to fund clean air measures and pay for the free