Sales of bot­tled air up as pol­lu­tion wors­ens

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By CHI­NADAILY

A com­pany sell­ing bot­tled air col­lected from a prim­i­tive for­est in north­ern China has re­ported a spike in sales fol­low­ing a de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in the coun­try’s air qual­ity.

Beijing and parts of eastern China have ex­pe­ri­enced three pe­ri­ods of “haz­ardous” air qual­ity since the start of au­tumn, and me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal de­part­ments have warned there will be more to come be­fore the spring due to the use of coal-burn­ing heat­ing sys­tems as tem­per­a­tures drop.

Global Out­look Biotech said sales of its Sen­lin Baobei can­is­ters, which con­tain air col­lected from the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion, are on the rise.

“The cans con­tain air from the prim­i­tive forests of the Greater Khin­gan Moun­tains,” said Chen Zhi­quan, the com­pany’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor. “We sold fewer than 100 bot­tles in Au­gust and about 400 in Septem­ber. But we sold more than 1,000 in the first 20 days of Oc­to­ber, and have been sell­ing more than 100 per day since then­thankstothere­centsmog.”

Most pur­chases have been

Price of a Sen­lin Baobei can­is­ter, which con­tains air from the prim­i­tive forests of the Greater Khin­gan Moun­tains

made on­line by peo­ple in Beijing and cities in Shan­dong prov­ince, Chen said, ad­ding that the can­is­ters, which are priced at 58 yuan ($8.50) and come with a breath­ing mask, are de­signed to pro­vide 30 min­utes of “nat­u­ral fresh air”.

Feed­back from cus­tomers has been mixed. A man who tried the prod­uct at a fair in Ho­hhot, In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion, de­scribed in­hal­ing the con­tents of the can­is­ter as “fresh and com­fort­able”, while oth­ers said they had no re­ac­tion.

Ma Ru­tao, a col­lege stu­dent in Beijing, said, “I’d rather spend more money on an air pu­ri­fier than a tem­po­rary fix.”

How­ever, Chen said that the prod­uct is largely aimed at rais­ing pub­lic aware­ness about en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion. “I don’t ap­pre­ci­ate the fact that fresh air is be­com­ing a trea­sure,” he added.

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