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Emergency Message - High Air Pollution Alert

October 6, 2013

The Embassy would like to notify you that the Beijing Embassy air monitor Air Quality Index (AQI) readings  have averaged over 300 in the 24-hour period beginning at 8:00 pm on October 4, and were over 400 overnight. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations, AQI levels above 301 are considered hazardous.  The EPA recommends that, at AQI levels above 301, everyone should avoid all physical activities outdoors.  Individuals with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children are at the greatest risk.  In accordance with EPA recommendations, we advise that individuals take the following actions during periods of prolonged elevated AQI levels:

- Remain indoors and keep all windows and doors closed tightly.

- If available, run your air cleaners continuously - on the highest setting where the noise is acceptable.

- Limit any indoor activity that may increase indoor air pollution such as vacuuming, burning candles, smoking, etc. 

- When it is necessary for you to be outside for prolonged periods, consider utilizing a disposable respirator with N-95 or higher certification. 

- Monitor the AQI numbers before planning any outdoor activity.  

Further information on AQI levels and EPA recommendations can be found at