Beijing Cough, A New Syndrome

“Beijing cough” as it called, has been circulated among foreigners for over ten years and recently was hit by foreigners in common and the terms beijing cough also being printed in the travel guides. Simply put, “Beijing cough” is a acclimatized similar reaction, some people came to Beijing will get to cough, and cough disappear naturally after left.

For people living in Beijing does not seem realize that “Beijing cough”, while the capital of this country is affixed such ridicule label, it will reflect not only environmental issues.

Beijing cough” is a syndrome of cough
In July 2012, an Peking/Beijing traveller came to Beijing as an exchange student to pursue master degree. Initially, Lyon, an United States citizen insists on running five kilometers every morning around schools. A week later, he found himself involuntarily cough, perhaps cough few times during the day, more severe during midnight.
In conversations with friends, Lyon found that a lot of Peking traveller who just came from the foreign, will experience during the similar cough, severe symptoms especially in December to April. Friends reminded him goes out  by wearing masks, further more, not advisable to jog in the early morning along the road.

Beijing Cough, isn’t a new terms
Beijing cough is a dry chronic cough symptom.  Since year 1990, we have read reporter about the words “Beijing Cough”.  In 1990, Rotary International, the magazine published an article, wrote: “The industrial countries have a major air pollution in urban phenomenon, has spread to the world very common …… respiratory diseases caused by air pollution in Beijing, is known as the ‘cough’. “

While most people do not know, “Beijing cough” this concept, but Ma Jun, director of the Beijing Public Environmental Research Center, Beijing Academy of Environmental Sciences Atmospheric, director Peng Ying Teng environmental experts are no stranger to this argument.

Beijing Union Medical College Hospital, chief physician of Respiratory Medicine Wangjing Lan said, “Beijing cough” can be considered a disease, an airway hyperresponsiveness, subject to certain stimuli occurred contractile response to the airway, cough, chest tightness, and asthma.

The dry pollution is the root cause of Beijing Cough

The climate is dry. “Beijing is a temperate monsoon climate, low rainfall, and Peking Winter is really too dry!” Said Peng Ying Teng, environmental experts, from 1961 to 1990, the average raining in December was 2.3 mm, Shanghai was 34.7 mm, Guangzhou 23.5 mm, while New York was 86.9 mm, 79 mm for London, Tokyo, Japan, is 39.6 mm. The Concorde Professor Wang Jinglan said, Beijing is particularly dry winter and spring, is a high incidence of respiratory diseases, to some extent, also induced cough.

Air pollution. Pang Ying Teng, environmental experts said that China’s air quality gap with the developed countries, especially the concentration of respirable particles. The air quality affects the human respiratory system.  Beijing cough syndrome could means the people may not suit to Beijing air.  Coughing also a manifestation of self-cleaning ability of the respiratory system.

Monitoring of Air Quality

China has started an air quality particulate count monitoring scheme, one of the criteria is monitoring the PM2.5 level.  This means amount of 2.5um particulate in a cubic air volume is measure and calculated.  A report dated on 13-Jan-2013 shows a Beijing PM 2.5 reach 900mg .

Counter Action for Beijing Cough

Beijing Cough PM2.5 Monitoring

Beijing Cough PM2.5 Monitoring

Beijing in winter and spring is the heating period, many places requires a lot of coal-fired, and then generate a large number of air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, particulate to the air.  The air quality will be worse than in other seasons. Concord Professor Wang Jinglan added: “The winter and spring fog, harmful substances in the air easily impact on the respiratory tract, causing discomfort or illness.”

In order to reduce the Beijing Cough syndrome, the China government already started several measures on improving the discharge of air quality in , control of coal firing in house hold area definitely is one of the measure.  Currently many discussion is on going to find the replacement substance for coal.  Green renewable energy definitely is one of the selection.  Apart from solar, wind energy, we also seeing biomass pellet such as efb pellet or saw dust pellet could be one of the alternative for overcoming the environment issue.

Putting Beijing Cough into history should not be the only respsonsible for the Beijing China bureue, it is all about us, our awareness of improving air quality.

2 thoughts on “Beijing Cough, A New Syndrome

  1. Pingback: Opinion and Affect of Air Pollution | CL Chuah BlogCL Chuah Blog

  2. Pingback: Malaysia Air Pollution in Year 2013 | CL Chuah BlogCL Chuah Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.