It’s no surprise that China has some of the worst air quality in the world: rapid industrialization, unchecked and unregulated factory growth, a spike in automobile traffic in cities and a dependence on coal-fired energy has made most days in metropolitan areas a dim haze of sooty air and unhealthy conditions.
In August of 2015, for example, the Chinese government ordered the shutdown of factories and limited cars in Beijing for several days to produce a picture-perfect environment for a parade commemorating the end of World War II. So, for several hours, the downtown area featured piercing blue skies—and immediately went back to a dull brown once the parade’s photo op was over.
Since China is among the worst in terms of outdoor pollution, it was only a matter of time before an enterprising company tapped consumer concerns for healthier commutes. Now, Xiaomi is manufacturing (somewhat) stylish masks with tiny air purifiers built in, so commuters can breathe a modicum of clean air on their way to and from work.
The masks resemble the shape of surgical masks and feature a gray, hand-woven flexible material. On the right side of the mask, a small air purifier and airflow fan capture PM2.5 particulate from the air.
PM2.5 refers to a designation from the Environmental Protection Agency for airborne particulate matter—dust, dirt and pollutants—that are two and one half microns or less in length. For reference, there are approximately 25,000 microns to an inch, so 2.5 microns is incredibly small and can easily be inhaled into one’s lungs.
Powering the fan and filtration system on the mask is a small, lithium ion battery that can be recharged in three to four hours via USB. So, someone could come to work, take off the mask and recharge it so it’s ready for the commute home.
But what about the air quality while all those commuters are indoors at the office? Well, AeraMax Professional can take care of that. The complete line of commercial-grade AeraMax Professional air purifiers remove up to 99.97 percent of airborne pollutants, including germs, bacteria, allergens and volatile organic compounds from indoor air, using a unique four-stage HEPA filtration system.