If you live in Shanghai you know that this is not one of the healthiest cities in the world to live in. Not only does work go on 24/7 here (well, at least when you run your own business), but also the air quality is quite bad. It’s actually so bad that it’s very likely that unitedstyles will be the last company that I set up in China, and that I will eventually move somewhere else. I am sure I will be in China regularly for my investments and other business related issues, but at least I want my family out of here.
Nobody really knows how bad the pollution is, because the government data seems to be “adjusted” and data for PM2.5 (the smallest, most dangerous, particles) are not released. For sure downtown it’s much worse than out in the suburbs where I live and where unitedstyles has its office. But also there it can’t be too good. I hardly ever run outside where I live, for example, because I feel the air does more harm than sports does good. And if I do, like during the Shanghai marathon, I normally feel it in my throat for several days after the run.
Today Shanghaiist has an overview of how dangerous it is to live in Shanghai. Although they play down the risks a bit (by for example saying that the city may be gradually killing you, but that Beijing is worse), the article confirms that living here is far from healthy. It’s a pity there is not more data available, but I am sure that is something that will change soon: the government will install PM2.5 measuring devices this year, and because they may not be trustworthy, likely private organizations may also start measuring this.
So, should I move to Hong Kong then? No, probably not. It seems pollution there is not much better, mainly because of all the smog coming from Guangdong province. The School of Public Health publishes an index showing the effects of the air pollution there (thanks for the link Marcel Ekkel), and they do it in a pretty radical way. Not only do they show the actual and past air pollution index, but also the economic loss because of this and the number of premature deaths and hospital visits. Not a pretty picture either. I hope the government will start working on a solution soon. I am lucky to have the option to leave, but many people can’t do so.