Running out of breath

Running out of breath

Beijing’s ‘air-pocalypse’ grabbed international headlines two weekends ago (see WiC178) and the quality of the capital’s air plunged again this week. On Monday the US embassy in Beijing reported its air quality index reached 350 – bad news when anything over 300 denotes ‘hazardous’.

Clearly these are not great conditions for children, and especially not for those who play sport. In fact, the city’s awful air has led some international schools to think creatively about how students can play sport without damage to their health.

The Financial Times reports that the International School of Beijing has just built two “pollution domes” containing six tennis courts and a small football field. In both cases the domes pipe in filtered air that’s safe to run around in. A PE teacher from the school told the newspaper that the domes were built after it was calculated that 39 of the 180 days in the last school year were too badly polluted for students to play

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