Website under maintenance / Online shop still accessible
Wednesday, 09 January 2013, Written by Julien   
The website back-office is experiencing some issues and we currently cannot add content on the website. We are working on it and hope to be able to offer a new version soon.

The good news is that the online shop is still working. In addition, the prices have even dropped further and we received a new excitiing new product: the Sporsta mask with Techno filter.

Thank you for your understanding.
 
Respro Masks price cut! Breathing good air is now cheaper!
Tuesday, 31 August 2010, Written by Julien   
Because air pollution levels stay high in China, we pursue our efforts to make clean air accessible to more and more people. With increasing volumes of Respro anti-pollution masks sold every day in China we have been able to lower our costs. We are proud to announce a major price cut on Respro Masks and Filters in China by up to 20%.

Our most popular product, the Respro Techno Mask is now only RMB399, below the RMB400 thresold, and Respro Sportsta Mask is down to RMB389. Metro Mask and Bandit Scarf are even more accessible from RMB279.

In addition, to help you reduce the opertating costs of your Respro mask, we now propose sepcial offers:

All our products are still available in Beijing, in Shanghai, in Guangzhou and all over China, through our distributors and this website (link to the catalogue ).
plumbing wrote This is great!:
Respro Masks are always have been a good air filter on a smog polluted street. These are very suitable masks to counter air pollution.
Bill wrote Look at this:
I am living in China despite the horrendous pollution. Take a look at these pics and feel free to link to them to drive home the point that Chinese air is beyond bad! http://topchinablog.co... [more]
Billy wrote environment is important:
taking care of the environment is important
 
Urban liveability and the Bicycle
Friday, 25 June 2010, Written by Julien   
Last Saturday I attended a conference by Shannon Bufton on "Urban Liveability and the Bicycle" . His main argument is that when city planning is focused towards car usage it has a negative impact on liveability. Too many cars in a city create traffic congestion, increase accident rates for cyclists and pedestrians, generate sound and air pollution... In one sentence, a car-friendly city is a people-unfriendly city.

There are now around 4 million cars in Beijing. It is hard to really realize what it means so Shannon Bufton gave a very striking comparison: if you put all those cars next to each other, it would take all the space within second ring road. So to be able to park all the cars Beijing has, one would have to obliterate all historical building in Beijing into an immense parking lot: the Forbidden City, TianAnMen square, Temple of Heaven, all the hutongs would have to be destroyed in order to fit so many cars.
Surface taken if all Beijing cars were parked next to each other
Developping bike usage and public transit networks would reduce the space required by cars. How could all this space be better used to create a better city (and of course a better life :)?
Charles wrote Cars added every day:
1466 cars are added everyday. When you put them bumper to bumper that is 6.7km (if you take the hyundai taxi as a reference). That is the distance between Fuxingmen and Jianguomen. So even t... [more]
ken wrote jogging with respro face mask:
can you wear the mask for jogging?
 
Facemasks have the potential to prevent cardiovascular events
Monday, 24 August 2009, Written by Julien   
beijing_opera_mask_s.jpgAs the concentration of fine particles is quite high in Beijing, it is a good place to assess the efficiency of facemasks . A team from the Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences of Edinburgh University just published a scientific study on this topic . Their findings are quite interesting as they show some measurable improvements linked with wearing a mask.

Basically, 15 healthy volunteers were asked to walk on a predefined city centre route in Beijing in the presence and absence of a highly efficient facemask. Personal exposure to ambient air pollution and exercise was assessed continuously using portable real-time monitors and global positional system tracking respectively. Cardiovascular effects were assessed by continuous electrocardiographic and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.

The conclusion of their study is straightforward:
"Wearing a facemask appears to abrogate the adverse effects of air pollution on blood pressure and heart rate variability. This simple intervention has the potential to protect susceptible individuals and prevent cardiovascular events in cities with high concentrations of ambient air pollution."

The mask tested was a dust respirator complying to FFP1 European standard and of course not a traditional Beijing Opera facemask!

Many thanks to Vance, a fellow blogger on pollution in Beijing, who sent me the link to this report. His great blog is available again in China at the following address: http://www.livefrombeijing.com
Guillaume wrote Why not...:
This is for sure more healthy to wear a mask than not. Because nothing is changing neither in environmental policy, nor in way of production, we have just this little possibility to avoid b... [more]
Joan Caliso wrote work from home:
i have gone through this blog. i found it very interesting and helpful. nowadays i am working from my home and this blog really doing great for me.
 
Earth Week?
Tuesday, 28 April 2009, Written by Julien   
Last Wednesday was Earth Day. I went to the BBQ organized by Greening the Beige . After Earth Hour at the end of March, it was another occasion to talk about environment. It is really nice to talk but I have the feeling that those awareness rising initiatives do not have big impact in the short term.

earth_small.jpgSwitching from electricity to candles for an hour is quite debatable from a pure environmental point of view (candles are much less efficient than bulbs!) and it might also give a wrong message: "Switch off the lights for one hour and forget about environment until next year"! I found this great article from The Australian that sums it up well. What stated there is so true: "Unfortunately, this event - as with many public proposals on climate change - is an entirely symbolic gesture that creates the mistaken impression that there are easy, quick fixes to climate change."

Earth Day is a bit better as the message tends to be less simplistic, but still: it is quite easy to change your way of life for a single day. You can wait one day to wash your clothes, you can work one day from home to avoid using cab, you can make the extra effort to close the tap while brushing your teeth on that day... but would you be able to keep it up longer?

We have to change our way of life on the long term to really reduce our impact on the environment. So what about creating an Earth Week? It could be great fun and really have a positive impact.

We could have something like:
  • You choose one area where you think you could easily reduce your impact on environment for example transportation or electricity consumption or water consumption.
  • For two weeks before the Earth Week, you monitor your usage on this area (eg check the electricity or water meters or collect your taxi/gas bills) to know how much you really use.
  • You commit on a change you are willing to make (eg: cutting your cab/car usage by half, lower your water consumption by 20%).
  • During Earth Week you stick to this commitment.
  • At the end of the week, you can decide to stick to this commitment for the rest of the year!

I would love to do that. What about you?
Johan wrote :
This is a very interesting article and I appreciate your initiative. http://www.mindreign.com/en/mindshare/Environmental-Concerns/China-3a-The-Environmental-Rogue/sl36962308bp325cpp10pn1.htm... [more]
 
Speech tonight at Cheung Kong GSB
Monday, 27 April 2009, Written by Julien   
ckgsb_logo.jpgJust to let you know, I'll be speaking tonight at a panel organized at the Cheung Kong GSB in Beijing. The topic of the panel is:
"Net Capitalists : Making Money Online - A Panel Discussion

Three Beijing-based professionals talk about their entrepreneurial
experiences using the web to make profit and give you tips on starting
out on your own commercial online adventure."

The panel is part of the Cheung Kong Open Lecture Series. It starts at 7pm, in Oriental Plaza E3, 12th floor (subway Dongdan on line 1 and line 5). Free.


 
Where to get your mask?
Friday, 03 April 2009, Written by Julien   
In addition to our online catalogue, the products will be more and more available in regular shops.
For now, you can find some Respro masks in the following stores:

natooke_logo_small.gif


Beijing, Dongcheng - Lama Temple: Natooke is foreign owned and managed with fluent English, Chinese, German, Italian and French staff. Natooke is the only fixed-gear bike and juggling store in China.




whs-logo-small.jpgBeijing, CBD and Shunyi: World Health Store is foreign owned and managed with fluent English & Chinese staff. Also available in store is the biggest array of imported health, vitamins, sports supplements in all of China.


Beijing, Haidian district: Merida Bicycle shop. Chinese service only.
Click here to find how to get to these stores .

Domestic Panda wrote :
This is really good news! And I can't wait to come back to Beijing to see how did the air quality change since the end of the Olympics... Anyway, I'm glad I gave my lungs a break with some "... [more]
wheezer wrote order inquiry...:
Hi Julian.... My friend and I are located in Shanghai and would like to order 2 mask (male size & female size) Could you please contact me at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it in regards to mask select... [more]
Red Monkey wrote :
Hi Julien, We are riding in Shanghai and we would like to buy some of your masks. Any dealers in town? Merci!
 
Leave of absence
Wednesday, 01 April 2009, Written by Julien   
There has been a long time since I last blogged. The reason is not that I am not interested about environment anymore (I have actually been answering to comments and to requests for Respro masks since September), I have just been busy with other things. In the meantime, I have been interested, annoyed, touched by many topics regarding environment. I'll try to catch up in the coming weeks!
Here are few of the things I was busy with over the last few months:
  • Establishing a sustainable business in China: I am commited to bring solutions against pollution to individuals. I did it through this blog since 2006, but to be able to do it on a sustainable way, I wanted to be able to live from it. I registered a proper company in China (it's not so easy, believe me!) and I now have a fully fledged import-export WFOE. I am able to bring more ideas and products to the market!
  • Linking French companies. I care for the environment but I also care for my community, French companies in China. I've worked a lot on that in the last 2 years and in January, we hold a great Forum to help French companies working together. Big Challenge, big achievement: Forum Travailler Ensemble (fr) .
  • Representing French companies: to continue my involvement with French business community, I am now member of the Board of the French Chamber in China. It's a great place to bring positive change!
With all these commitments, I'll definitely stay a few more years in Beijing, despite the pollution ;) Keep in touch!
Fred wrote great!:
Hey! thanks for coming last night, it had really been a while. Also very looking forward to you blogging again. Us lost souls in this polluted world definitely need information.
 
Experimenting clean air
Wednesday, 24 September 2008, Written by Julien   
Olympics and the Paralympics are over! Most anti-pollution restrictions were lifted last Sunday: traffic jams are covering roads again, tucks are back and factories can produce again... Air quality has remained quite good over the last few days but we can expect pollution to come back to its pre-Olympics levels soon.

However, I believe not everything will be reverted to its initial status. At least one thing changed: residents of Beijing now know that their air is bad and that the current state is not normal. They knew it before, but they had not experienced it. After one month in a city with low air pollution all Beijingers cherish breathing in fresh air.
Chinese smile by http://www.flickr.com/photos/chinasixty4/

For example, it is a fairly good sign that a majority of Beijingers were supporting the idea of keeping the car restrictions after Olympics. Even though a majority of Beijingers do not have a car, it shows that they would be ready to accept tough measures for having a better air.

As the Olympics pressure on the government is fading off, people's aspirations for clean air could push environmental reforms forward!

melanie gao wrote :
I have a car and I would be happy to have the even/odd restrictions year-round. The air pollution is my #1 concern about living in Beijing. I would do anything to make it better.
kyle owen wrote idea for cleaning the air:
i was woundring what if we put water air purrifires that rotated the water good and bad it would filter the water from the smoke stacks stop so much of the pollutints get back at me i have i... [more]
Morris Mak wrote :
I think it's a great idea to keep the even/odd restriction not only in Beijing, but in other cities such as Shenzhen, Shanghai, etc... But I am sure that there are going to be some greedy... [more]
liv t wrote moving to Tianjin with 3 kids:
Hi! My husband, my three kids and I are moving to Tianjin for the next 3 years (8, 7 and 2 year old kids) starting in April 2009. How much risk are we really taking on a relatively short p... [more]
Me wrote Kids:
I would not be bring kids to China, nothing can be guaranteed when it comes to air, food and water quality. To often local government will cover things up to make themselves look good, and b... [more]
 
Ozone and PM2.5 data in Beijing?
Monday, 11 August 2008, Written by Julien   
I blogged yesterday about how international pressure helps Beijing improving its air. Today I found this announcement : Beijing might start to monitor ozone and very fine particle matters (PM2.5) starting from next year.
chinadaily.png

Ozone is harmful for our health but there is no data available now. Having a daily monitoring of ozone would help people avoiding pollution peaks. It would also encourage Beijing municipality to take measures against ozone pollution.

Having PM2.5 data would also be interesting as particle matters are the main pollutants in Beijing. PM2.5 concentration is important as those fine particles are the most harmful for human health. Knowing both PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations would give us a more precise overview of the situation.

Let's hope Beijing officials will not forget this promise after August 24th!
Zac wrote lol:
does beljing have bad air
fireworks wrote Strange: my post was erased:
Doesn't it sound strange to anybody to read only supporting posts in this blog? Mine was harmful to the mask business I guess. Indeed ozone nor very fine particles are removed by such masks.... [more]
Julien wrote re fireworks: Check before!:
Hi Fireworks, I guess you should check twice before writing. First, your comment was never erased and it is still here (see below) . At that time, I answered your email and gave you the ref... [more]
ME wrote Masks:
OK its just not normal to wear masks in life and if the air quality is that bad then leave. The point is, how much is that life style or money worth when you talk about your own health. You ... [more]
fireworks wrote deeper:
Hope you like debating coz your answer is not satisfactory yet: the paper you mention to answer my comment about ozone does not provide any ozone DATA, just model simulations. Here's a nice ... [more]
 
The green side of Olympics
Sunday, 10 August 2008, Written by Julien   
I usually see the dark side of air pollution in Beijing: the data! The reason is that air in Beijing is not good compared with international standards. It is a fact that on most days air in Beijing would be considered as bad in European cities.

However, if I step back and have a look at the general context I am impressed by the efforts Beijing made to curb the emissions and by its successes in controlling the pollution. It is amazing that with more than 10% yearly growth over the last 7 years, SO2 & CO levels have been significantly reduced and NO2 & particle concentrations have been stabilized.
Electric bus in Beijing (c) tbus.org.uk

The measures that have been taken are really bold and I am sure no developped country would have been able to implement them. As it might be hard to understand for people not living in China, here below are just few of the measures taken to modernize transportation:
  • Replacement of old and polluting taxis (77.5% of Beijing taxis in 2001),
  • Opening of 4 new subway lines in the last 10 months,
  • Drop of public transportation price in 2007 (33% to 60% drop on subway fare),
  • Replacement of many old buses by comfortable and ecological buses...

Thanks to these measures the use of public transportation is now cheap and comfortable. People can let their cars at home and commute with mass transport. It's good for our air and for the people!
Beijing Olympic Green in the haze

For sure, air in Beijing is not good yet. But I think it would be much worse if the Olympics were not here: the international pressure helped Beijing to improve the environmental situation.

However, more efforts need to be made to achieve a good air quality and I hope the current momentum will be sufficient to stay on this positive trend.
Eugene wrote :
Woah, I thought the subway fares are already very cheap. Now it's even cheaper? When I visited Beijing last year, I had difficulty finding $1.20 taxis. Even the old taxis are publishing the ... [more]
Martin Liu wrote :
I hope the air could keep clean like this after Olympic game. Thanks the rain last nigh! I feel much better this morning.
Julien wrote :
Subway fare is now RMB2, down from RMB3-5. Taxis are RMB2/km, mostly Hyundai Elantra (here) ... [more]
 
Anti-pollution measures, 5 days after
Friday, 25 July 2008, Written by Julien   
The new anti-pollution measures for Olympics started last Sunday. As you might already know, the main measures are:
  • Reduction of traffic: cars with odd plates are allowed on odd days, cars with even plates on even days, old and very polluting cars have been taken away from roads,
  • Reduction of industrial emissions: heavy polluting industries have to stop during Olympics, others should reduce their emissions by at least 30%,
  • Freeze of construction sites to reduce dust and trucks...

As pollution is generated by human activity, if human activity is reduced dramatically, air pollution should rapidly fade off. However, since 3 days the pollution in Beijing is quite visible: a white smog is covering the city.

Smog come from three main factors: car emissions (nitrogen oxides ), volatile organic compounds and sun. Those three factors react with oxygen to produce ozone and particles . Ozone is a risk for athletes as it can aggravate or reveal asthma and reduce lung capacity by up to 20%. It is maybe not a health hazard, but athletes might find it harder to break records.

One of the reasons for such bad air quality is the really light wind and the absence of rain. There has been no occasion for pollutants that were already in the air to be flushed away. Such weather conditions should last for at least 3 more days and we could  keep the same kind of pollution a bit longer.

All we have to hope is a heavy rain with strong winds to clear the skies in time for Olympics!


fred wrote funny to see:
that a lot of (Chinese) newspapers claim that the sky is blue and the air is better now in Beijing. I personnaly have only notice less cars, and less space for cars with this special "Olympi... [more]
xuedi wrote interesting information:
nice, that you clear up how the Beijing smog is created, the only answer of Beijing people is: "ohh, thats just the natural Beijing frog" ^^
Chris D wrote :
Yeah, I saw a great photo of beijing's sky int he xizhimen area on the China Daily site a few days ago - beautiful blue sky, etc. B.S. Yes, the olympic lane is stupid. For traffic's sake,... [more]
Lee W wrote beijingairquality website:
It looks like the Government's own pollution monitoring website has been restricted. If you go to http://www.beijingairquality.cn/index.php you now need a username and password to access it... [more]
Asia Society wrote "blue sky days" photo diary:
Check out the new project on AsiaSociety.org called "Clearing the Air: China's Environmental Challenge" A great video provides an overview of the problem and they have a photographer who has... [more]
 
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